Spieth entered the final round at The Open Championship with a three-stroke advantage over Kuchar, but surrendered his lead after the 13th hole, where Spieth made bogey following a penalty for an unplayable lie. With five holes to play and 4-over on his round, Spieth played the next four holes in 5-under to take a two-stroke lead to the 18th hole, where a routine par preserved the victory.
With 600 FedExCup points from the victory, Spieth moved from No. 4 to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings, taking over the top spot from Dustin Johnson who held the lead position for 17 weeks. Spieth will take the week off before traveling to Akron, where 550 FedExCup points will be awarded to the champion.
In three previous appearances at the Bridgestone Invitational, Spieth has two top-10 finishes, including a T3 in 2016, where the young Texan carded a final-round 67 to finish three strokes back of Johnson. With 11 career PGA TOUR victories to his credit, Spieth has yet to win one of the four World Golf Championships.
Following his near-miss at The Open, Kuchar will look to continue his strong form at Firestone. In seven previous starts at the Bridgestone Invitational, the 39-year-old owns three top-10 finishes, and joined Spieth in a tie for third in 2016. Kuchar has one World Golf Championships title to his credit – the 2013 Dell Technologies Match Play.
“The Bridgestone Invitational is one of my favorite events of the year,” Kuchar said. “Firestone is such a great golf course, one of my favorites of the year. The list of champions there is just incredible. It’s one trophy that I’m really hoping to add my name to someday.”
Phil Mickelson will arrive at the Bridgestone Invitational for his 23rd consecutive appearance in search of his third career World Golf Championships title, which would make him one of only four players with three or more victories. The 47-year-old has four top-10 finishes on the season - two of those coming in World Golf Championships – and is coming off his first missed cut in 18 starts on the PGA TOUR.
Among the notable players to qualify for the Bridgestone Invitational by virtue of being inside the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) as of Monday, July 24, is nine-time PGA TOUR winner Bubba Watson. With a T27 finish at The Open, Watson jumped from No. 49 to 46 in the OWGR to secure his place in the field. Players can still qualify by moving inside the top 50 by next Monday, July 31.
For more information about the Bridgestone Invitational or to purchase tickets to the 2017 event, please visit BridgestoneInvitational.com.