News & ToursAugust 4, 2015

Tiger Woods at Firestone, and players that have made a particular golf course their personal stomping grounds

Tiger Woods is not at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational this week, which feels like having Christmas without Santa.

In his last 15 tournaments at Firestone Country Club, Woods has left the Akron, Ohio, course with the trophy eight times. On four other occasions, he finished in the top 10. Fractions were never a strong suit of mine, but that seems like a pretty sound success ratio. (Woods also owns the course record at a 21-under 259.)

Due to his plunge in the world rankings, Woods failed to qualify for the 2015 competition. Woods is missing out on the Bridgestone for only the second time in his career, sitting out in 2008 due to injury.

As we pour one on the pavement for Woods' absence, here are seven players -- including El Tigre himself -- that have reigned over specific courses in their careers:

Sam Snead - Sedgefield/Starmount Forest, Miami Springs

It should be no surprise that Slammin' Sammy makes an appearance. With a record 82 PGA Tour wins, it stands to reason a few venues would be recurring scenes of the crime. Snead won the Greater Greensboro Open eight times, hosted at Sedgefield and Starmount Forest, and racked up six titles at the Miami Open.

Alec Ross - Pinehurst No. 2

The North and South Open may not ring a bell to some golf fans, but the event was once a distinguished competition. Held at Pinehurst No. 2, the event saw Ross, a club pro at Brae Burn Country Club near Boston, claim the title on six occasions.

However, one could argue Ross, who captured the 1907 U.S. Open, had an unfair advantage. After all, his brother, Donald -- yes, that Donald -- designed the course.

Ben Hogan - Colonial Country Club

The Hawk, a native of the Fort Worth, won the inaugural Colonial Invitational in 1946. When he finished atop the leader board at the 1959 event, it was his fifth Colonial championship.

Hogan was a member at Colonial in retirement, and the course is now known as "Hogan's Alley."

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Jack Nicklaus - Augusta National

Nicklaus has become a renowned architect and hosts his own tournament at Muirfield Village in Columbus, Ohio. Yet the Golden Bear is most associated with the Masters, a sentiment his trophy case supports.

Nicklaus earned six green jackets at Augusta, with his 1986 victory standing as one of the most memorable moments in the game's history.

However, it should be noted he finished in the top 10 on 16 other appearances, most recently as 1998, a year AFTER Tiger's historic win. And then there's this: from 1970 to 1980, Nicklaus finished no worse than eighth.

Now THAT is getting it done.

Davis Love III - Harbour Town

DLIII never got to put on the green jacket. The week after the Masters, however, the man was gangbusters, winning at Hilton Head five times. Unrelated note: one of the recurring comment themes from yesterday's "John Daly, Ryder Cup Captain?" piece was "JD would be a helluva lot better than Davis Love III." Hey now, Love might not have the same public affection as Daly, but he's not a wet sock, either. You want character? The dude made friends with a squirrel! LEAVE DAVIS LOVE ALONE.)

Mark O'Meara - Pebble Beach

In a 12-tournament Bing Crosby/AT&T National Pro-Am stretch at Pebble, O'Meara found the winner's circle in five instances. Quite the feat, given O'Meara has 16 total career PGA Tour wins.

Tiger Woods - Doral, Bay Hill and Torrey Pines

Firestone is not the only stomping grounds for Tiger, winning at Bay Hill (Arnold Palmer's tournament) and Torrey Pines (Farmers Insurance/Buick Invitational, U.S. Open) eight times. Woods has also seven triumphs at Doral. Add Firestone into the mix and this quartet accounts for 31 of Woods' victories. For context, that figure alone would be good for 16th on the all-time wins list.



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