The PGA Tour is in Akron, Ohio, this week for the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone. Adam Scott is the defending champion and he'll be making his first start since the crushing end to the Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes a few weeks back, where he bogeyed each of the closing four holes.
Firestone typically lends itself to plenty of drama. Before the tournament got under way, we caught up with Firestone's PGA Head Professional David Champagne for a little Q&A.
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PGA.com: Thanks for joining us, David. I can't remember a more exciting PGA Tour season than the one we've had so far this year. What does that mean to the folks at Firestone for this week's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational? You've got most of the world's best players with a win or multiple wins under their belt this season.
Champagne: It's been an incredible season on the PGA Tour and we do have a great field for this week's event, which makes for an outstanding tournament. Everyone here at Firestone anticipates a great week and we are all looking forward to it.
PGA.com: Your defending champion, Adam Scott, will be making his first start since the crushing defeat at Royal Lytham & St. Annes two weeks ago. What do you expect from Adam this week?
Champagne: We all feel for Adam. He played so well all week at the British. He's a world-class player, and our defending champion. He obviously is playing well right now and has been very successful here at Firestone. We expect nothing less than for Adam to bounce right back and have a great week.
PGA.com: After dominating at Firestone for so long, 2010 and 2011 weren't so kind there to Tiger Woods. However, he seems to be very much in control of his game this season. Do you think he'll get back to the old Tiger we know of at Firestone this week?
Champagne: Tiger has won seven times here and Firestone is a course he enjoys and feels comfortable with. He also is in control of his game with three wins already this year. I expect big things from Tiger this week and would be surprised if he is not in contention come Sunday.
PGA.com: The Bridgestone Invitational is unique in that it's a huge event and it's played the week before a major championship. Can you please talk a little about the grueling two-week stretch this must be for players?
Champagne: The Bridgestone Invitational is a huge event being a World Golf Championship and it's also a great way for the players to gear up for next week's PGA Championship. I think it's an exciting stretch for the players and certainly an important time for them to be playing well. The golf course set up at Firestone is a great test and always seems produce great champions.
PGA.com: Last question for you, David. What is it about tournament week that you most look forward to each year?
Champagne: I really look forward to the excitement and camaraderie amongst Firestone members and the staff. It's such a great week and we all look forward to being a part of this great event. Everyone is always excited to see Firestone showcased as a world-class facility.