WGC - Bridgestone Invitational: Is Tiger Woods the Player to Beat?

By Carl Conrad

Tiger Woods will be giving it a go at this week’s PGA Tour stop, the World Golf Championships (WGC) – Bridgestone Invitational, but is he the man to beat? El Tigre is teeing it up for the first time since his tie for sixth at Muirfield in the British Open. There are legitimate points that can be made to argue either perspective with respect to Tiger’s chances at Firestone Country Club.

Despite the fact that Woods has failed to pick up a major this year – or for the last several years, for that matter – he has been playing well. He has two top-six finishes in the three majors that have been played thus far in addition to winning the PLAYERS Championship. You don’t pick up four victories in one season – and seven wins in two seasons – by dumb luck. Woods also happens to be leading the Tour in scoring average (69.87) and all around ranking. He is fourth in strokes gained – putting, 18th in total driving and third in par breakers.

Woods has also performed fairly well at this track in the past. He has seven career victories here, with the most recent win coming in 2009. He hasn’t exhibited the dominance here that he once enjoyed, but Woods still has sub-69 career scoring average at Firestone. His tie for eighth last year was his best finish since that victory in 2009.

It’s difficult to determine which Tiger is going to show up – and for which rounds he will be present. Woods clearly enjoys this track and he has had success here, but will he be able to put together four rounds that will be good enough for a fifth win in 2013?

What do you think – is Tiger Woods the man to beat at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational?

Carl Conrad is the Senior Golf Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.

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