Four years ago, World No. 1 Tiger Woods shot a second-round 61 at Firestone on his way to an eighth win at the Akron course and a 79th (and final?) PGA Tour title. Seems like longer ago, right? It was also four years ago that a 24-year-old Rory McIlroy was mired in a serious slump after joining Tiger in the Nike Golf stable at the beginning of the year. Things aren't nearly as dire for McIlroy currently, but following a disappointing start to 2017, he will begin a new era of sorts after dumping longtime caddie J.P. Fitzgerald. To talk about that transition, our caddying credentials, and make our WGC-Bridgestone Invitational picks, Joel Beall joined me for our weekly chat. Please have a listen:
And if you're more old school and would rather just read my normal weekly fantasy golf picks, here's my fab foursome at Firestone:
Dustin Johnson: DJ admitted he's still feeling the effects of falling down some stairs on the eve of the Masters, but then he went out and did things like this on his way to a T-8 at the Canadian Open:
Yeah, we're not too worried.
Jon Rahm: The 22-year-old Spaniard will make his debut at Firestone this week, but he's already been very successful in his first two cracks at WGCs this year with a runner-up to Johnson at the Match Play and a T-3 in Mexico. We're not too worried about him, either.
Rickie Fowler: One of the longest and straightest drivers on the PGA Tour, it's no surprise Fowler has fared well at Firestone with top 10s the past three years to go with a runner-up in 2011. At No. 2 in strokes gained total on tour, it would be a shame if he ends this season with only one win.
Marc Leishman: The Aussie is heating up in time for the year's final major. Leishman is coming off a T-6 at the British Open that was preceded by a T-5 at the Quicken Loans National on another tight track. At 40/1, he's the best value bet in the field.
Just missed: Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka.
And for those of you playing other fantasy golf formats:
Yahoo! lineup: Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Charley Hoffman, Jon Rahm (Starters); Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Kevin Kisner, Brooks Koepka (Bench).
Knockout/One-and-done pick: Rickie Fowler.
And here's the podcast link again, if you want to hear Joel and I jabber: