Unlike the last three weeks, Firestone Country Club offers us a very familiar venue with a great deal of course history for which to study. Combine that will a limited field and a handful of non-PGA TOUR players, and there is very little excuse not to get this one right.
Firestone Country Club is a bear of a par 70, stretching out to 7,400 yards and offering just two par 5s. The strength of the course is the 12 par 4s, with seven of those reaching over 460 yards. With three of the four par 3s topping out at over 200 yards, length clearly matters. Par 5 scoring is a bit watered down, as one of the par 5s is reachable by everyone and the other is reachable by almost nobody.
Here is a list of winners and runners-up since 2005:
- 2005: Winner - Tiger Woods (274) over Chris DiMarco (275)
- 2006: Winner - Tiger Woods (270) over Stewart Cink in a playoff
- 2007: Winner - Tiger Woods (272) over Justin Rose and Rory Sabbatini (280)
- 2008: Winner - Vijay Singh (270) over Stewart Appleby and Lee Westwood (271)
- 2009: Winner - Tiger Woods (268) over Robert Allenby and Padraig Harrington (272)
- 2010: Winner - Hunter Mahan (268) over Ryan Palmer (270)
- 2011: Winner - Adam Scott (263) over Luke Donald and Rickie Fowler (267)
- 2012: Winner - Keegan Bradley (267) over Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker (268)
- 2013: Winner - Tiger Woods (265) over Keegan Bradley and Henrik Stenson (272)
- 2014: Winner - Rory McIlroy (265) over Sergio Garcia (267)
That list of notables is a pretty familiar one. With a couple of exceptions, you see plenty of length off the tee and tons of class. In addition to the usual concoction of course history and current form, I'll likely take a hard look at strokes gained: tee-to-green, par 4 scoring average and perhaps driving distance. Due to the length of the par 3s, I may also take a look at some proximities from longer yardages.
I will return with the power ranking and one-and-done later this week. Until then, best of luck to all!