What you need to know heading into the Bridgestone Invitational

With practice rounds winding down, the 2017 World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational is getting set to tee off on Thursday afternoon.

WKYC will be on site with all the latest from the tournament's media day on Wednesday afternoon. Until then, here's all you need to know about this week's Bridgestone Invitational.

The schedule

Round one of the Bridgestone will kick off on Thursday morning, with the first tee times coming at 7:30 a.m. and running through 9:30 a.m.

Golfers will follow the same schedule during the second round on Friday, with tee times for the third round on Saturday and final round on Sunday beginning at 12 p.m.

The field

This year, Akron will welcome a loaded field for the Bridgestone, which includes the world's top 16-ranked golfers.

In addition to the world's No. 1 golfer and defending Bridgestone winner, Dustin Johnson, the field is headlined by a rounds 1-2 grouping of Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, which will tee off on the 10th hole at 8:10 a.m. on Thursday.

A full list of participating golfers can be found here.

The course

The Bridgestone will take place on the South Course at Akron's Firestone Country Club. This year's purse will be comprised of $9.75 million, with $1.66 million going to the winner.

The storylines

Can Spieth maintain momentum?

The Bridgestone will mark Spieth's first appearance since his Open Championship comeback victory last month. Will the world's No. 2 golfer continue his hot streak in Akron and potentially jump Johnson? For what it's worth, he enters the weekend as the betting favorite.

Will Johnson repeat?

While Spieth may be the favorite, Johnson has plenty working in his favor this weekend as he attempts to defend his Bridgestone crown. With five World Golf Championships to his credit, Johnson trails only Tiger Woods (18) for the most all-time. This weekend will present him an opportunity to add a sixth while maintaining his grip on the world's top ranking.

Hometown favorite

Although he's not as highly favored as either Spieth or Johnson this weekend, Day may be the sentimental favorite for fans in attendance in Akron. The Australia native is a resident of Central Ohio and has become a regular at Cleveland Cavaliers games in recent years. He even had a close encounter with LeBron James when the Cavs megastar accidentally ran over his wife, Ellie, as the two sat courtside during a contest in 2015.

How to watch

TV coverage of the Bridgestone Invitational will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, on the Golf Channel. Below is the entire TV schedule for the tournament, provided by Golf.com (all times ET):

Thursday: 1:30–6:30 p.m. (Golf Channel)
Friday: 1:30–6:30 p.m. (Golf Channel)
Saturday: 12–1:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2–6 p.m. (CBS)
Sunday: 12–1:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2–6 p.m. (CBS)

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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