AKRON As the world’s best golfers teed it up last week at The Open Championship, several big names confirmed their participation in this year’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, which will take place Aug. 3-6 at Firestone Country Club’s South Course.
Tournament officials announced that major champions Sergio Garcia, Brooks Koepka and Henrik Stenson have committed to playing the event, assuring that fans will see three competitors who typically draw large crowds will be a part of the field.
The WGC-Bridgestone is the final World Golf Championships event of the 2016-17 PGA Tour season.
Garcia, who captured his first major title at the 2017 Masters, nearly won the Gary Player Cup in Akron in 2014 thanks in large part to a second-round 61, which is tied for the low round in the history of the Bridgestone Invitational. He held a three-stroke lead entering the final round, but finished two back of eventual champion Rory McIlroy.
That second-place finish stands as Garcia’s top result in 51 previous appearances in a World Golf Championships events.
Koepka also won his first major earlier this year with a four-stroke triumph at the U.S. Open, hoisting the trophy at Erin Hills. He will return to Firestone Country Club for his second career appearance and first since 2015, where four rounds in the 60s put him in a tie for sixth.
Koepka now has two wins on tour and is currently No. 7 in the U.S. Presidents Cup standings. If qualifies for Presidents Cup at Liberty National in September, it will ensure a spot in the field at the 2018 Bridgestone Invitational.
Stenson, the 2016 British Open winner, will be making the trip to Akron for his ninth appearance in the Bridgestone Invitational. He finished second to a late-charging Tiger Woods in 2013 and tied for sixth in 2015.
The final two weeks prior to WGC-Bridgestone are the last chance for players to qualify either by winning an event with an Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) Strength of Field Rating of 115 points or more or by being inside the top 50 of the OWGR as of either July 24 or 31.