When the 2012 WGC Bridgestone Invitational tees off this week at Firestone Country Club, one man will be looking to regain his dominance at a course no other player alive has won at more often: Tiger Woods.
To say that Woods has played well at Firestone would be a huge understatement. During the span of his career, Woods has won a golf tournament at this course seven times in 13 attempts. Should he prevail this week in Akron, Ohio, Woods will become the first player in PGA Tour history to win eight titles on the same golf course. His last two efforts at Firestone have been lackluster (second-to-last finish in 2010, T-37 in 2011), but his rejuvenated play in 2012 suggests he has turned the proverbial corner.
He will certainly have his work cut out for him, however, as the strength of this tournament field can rival any major championship.
Adam Scott returns to action, as well, fresh off of his disappointing finish at the 2012 British Open two weeks ago. While that week will be remembered more for Scott's final four holes of the tournament, the Australian veteran played exceptional golf for his previous 68 holes. Furthermore, Scott fired an impressive 62 on the South Course at Firestone this time last season, so he will certainly be a title contender this week.
Phil Mickelson has a renewed focus on his game (according to him, at least), and he usually plays well on parkland-style courses much like Firestone. While his game certainly needs a bit of a reboot by the PGA Championship next month, Mickelson may fare well on a limited field event like this week's invitational.
Then there is the ever-interesting Rory McIlroy, who seems to have his sights fixated more on his Olympic-hopeful tennis playing girlfriend than seriously contending in golf tournaments as of late. I kid, of course, as McIlroy is still every bit of talented as he ever has been; however, the Northern Irish star has struggled mightly over his past few events. McIlory has a decent history at Firestone, of course, having record two consecutive top-10 finishes in the past two seasons.