AKRON, Ohio – Fans won’t be lacking for marquee groupings this week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Firestone Country Club will play host to 76 of the game’s best as they make final tweaks before heading east for the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow. Here’s a look at a few notable early-round groupings in Ohio (all times ET):
8:10 a.m. Thursday, 9:10 a.m. Friday: Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day
The Champion Golfer of the Year will make his first start since his triumph at Royal Birkdale, as Spieth looks to improve on last year’s T-3 finish at Firestone. He’ll be joined by McIlroy, who will have a new caddie on the bag and hasn’t played this event since his win in 2014, while Ohio resident Day will round out the trio in search of his first win in 15 months.
8:20 a.m. Thursday, 9:20 a.m. Friday: Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama
This trio won’t lack for firepower, as the defending champ and world No. 1 will be sandwiched between the top two finishers at Erin Hills. Johnson is coming off a T-8 finish in Canada, while Koepka hasn’t played since his T-6 finish at The Open and Matsuyama looks to win his second WGC title of the season after routing the field in Shanghai last fall.
9:10 a.m. Thursday, 8 a.m. Friday: Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Adam Scott
Rahm will be making his Firestone debut after a middling performance at Royal Birkdale, and he’ll be joined by Thomas who remains in search of his fourth win of the season after missing the cut in each of his last three starts. Rounding out the group will be Scott, who won here in 2011 and has cracked the top 10 twice in the last three years.
9:20 a.m. Thursday, 8:10 a.m. Friday: Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar
The reigning Masters champ heads to Akron fresh off his wedding over the weekend in Texas, and he’ll look to improve upon his runner-up finish here in 2014 when he was out-dueled in the final round by McIlroy. Fowler is the only player in this week’s field with top-10 finishes each of the last three years, while Kuchar finished T-32 in Canada on the heels of his Open disappointment.