World's top 80 players to compete at WGC-Bridgestone InvitationalJuly 30, 2010
PGA TOUR staff
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AKRON, Ohio -- As of today's 5 p.m. ET commitment deadline, 80 of the world's best golfers are set to compete at next week's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, Aug. 3-8, at Firestone Country Club's historic South Course. All of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking and 18 of the top 20 in the current FedExCup standings are in the 80-player field. The field could expand if the winners of this week's Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR and 3 Irish Open on the European Tour are not otherwise qualified, or if a player not otherwise qualified moves into the top 50 in the OWGR. RBC Canadian Open champion Carl Pettersson is the only player qualified who will not compete in Akron due to a prior family commitment.
The third of four World Golf Championships events on the 2010 schedule, the Bridgestone Invitational truly is part of "Golf's Global Summit" with 20 countries represented in the 80-player field. Of the countries represented, outside the United States, England leads the way with 11 players in the field, followed by South Africa with seven and Australia and Sweden with five apiece. The other countries with players in the field are: Japan (3), Spain (3), Italy (2), South Korea (2), Northern Ireland (2), Argentina (1), Canada (1), Colombia (1), Denmark (1), Fiji (1), France (1), Germany (1), Ireland (1), Scotland (1) and Wales (1).
Each of the season's first two World Golf Championships events, the Accenture Match Play Championship (Ian Poulter -- England) and CA Championship (Ernie Els -- South Africa), were won by international players. In the 11 years the Bridgestone Invitational has been part of the World Golf Championships, Craig Parry (2002) and Darren Clarke (2003) are the only winners from outside of the United States.
There are 23 players making their Bridgestone Invitational debuts in 2010, highlighted by British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa. Also among the players making their first appearance at Firestone are 21-year-old PGA TOUR rookie Rickie Fowler, who is the highest-ranked rookie in the FedExCup standings at No. 15, and 18-year-old Japanese sensation Ryo Ishikawa. Since becoming a World Golf Championships event in 1999, Tiger Woods (1999) is the only player to win the Bridgestone Invitational in his first appearance.
Of the players on the bubble who could still earn a last-minute trip to the Bridgestone Invitational via the top 50 in the OWGR, three of the four closest -- Jeff Overton (No. 55), Kevin Na (No. 56) and Ricky Barnes (No. 58) -- are playing The Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR. Thongchai Jaidee (No. 57) is not in the field at either The Greenbrier Classic or the 3 Irish Open. Two players who have played well in the past at the Bridgestone Invitational, David Toms (No. 69) and Davis Love III (No. 70), are also in the field at The Greenbrier Classic.
The Bridgestone Invitational annually draws one of strongest fields of the year with players traveling from all corners of the globe to Firestone Country Club. Every year the game's greatest stars converge in Akron to vie for the Bridgestone Invitational title, but the true winners of the event are local charities. The Bridgestone Invitational annually donates more than $800,000 to charities throughout Northeast Ohio. Over the years, professional golf has donated more than $19 million to more than 200 worthy causes in Northeast Ohio, including Akron Children's Hospital, the United Way of Greater Cleveland and The First Tee Chapters of Akron, Cleveland and Canton.