World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational field nearly finalized

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Strong World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational field to include Els, fresh off fourth career major championship win

This week is final chance to join field for third World Golf Championships of 2012

AKRON, Ohio – Ernie Els defeated World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational defending champion Adam Scott at the British Open for his fourth major championship last week, and the World Golf Hall of Fame member will highlight a strong field of contenders when the best players from across the globe come to Firestone Country Club, August 1-5.  Ten more players, led by Graeme McDowell, also punched their tickets to Akron after cracking the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.  Only a win this week at the RBC Canadian Open, or moving into the top 50 in the world, will earn a player a last-minute spot in the Bridgestone Invitational field.

Els’ second career win at the British Open came after shooting a 32 on the back nine which included a clutch birdie on the 18th hole. Els entered the final round trailing Scott, his good friend, by six strokes.  Scott bogeyed the final four holes to lose by one stroke despite having a comfortable lead throughout most of the day.  Els has qualified for all 12 of the previous Bridgestone Invitational events, sitting out in 2005 due to injury. His best finish came in the inaugural event in 1999, when he finished 5th. He has two career World Golf Championships victories, both at the Cadillac Championship (2004, 2010).

Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell headlines a group of nine players from the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, not otherwise qualified, who gained entry to the Bridgestone Invitational following this weekend’s action. McDowell, No. 11 after a T5 at last week’s British Open, has four top-10 finishes on the PGA TOUR this year, including a T2 at the U.S. Open. McDowell will play the Bridgestone Invitational for the seventh time, looking to better his career-best finish in Akron, a T22 in 2010.

Other players who qualified via their Official World Golf Ranking:

Rank Player  Country

11   Graeme McDowell   Northern Ireland

29   Bo Van Pelt       United States

30   Peter Hanson      Sweden

35   John Senden       Australia

38   Martin Laird      Scotland

41   Fredrik Jacobson  Sweden

42   Sang-Moon Bae     Korea

49   Jonathan Byrd     United States

50   Kevin Na          United States 

The full list of 77 players from 16 countries who have qualified for this year’s event is included at the end of this release as well as a list of players in the RBC Canadian Open field who are not currently qualified for the Bridgestone Invitational. Qualified players have until Friday, July 27, at 5 pm ET, to officially commit to play. Players who move into the top 50 in the World Golf Ranking this week or win the RBC Canadian Open will complete the field. 

For event and ticket information for the Bridgestone Invitational visit www.worldgolfchampionships.com. or 330-644-2299.  

About the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational

The Bridgestone Invitational is one of four World Golf Championships sanctioned and organized by the operational committee of the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour.  The other World Golf Championships include the Accenture Match Play Championship, Cadillac Championship and the HSBC Champions. The Bridgestone Invitational annually donates approximately $800,000-$900,000 to charities in Northeast Ohio through its partner Northern Ohio Golf Charities. 

About Bridgestone

The Bridgestone Group (Bridgestone Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries including Bridgestone Americas, Inc., Bridgestone Sports Co., Ltd. and Bridgestone Golf, Inc.) is the world’s largest manufacturer of tires and rubber products. Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, was established in 1931 and today, the Bridgestone Group has about 190 manufacturing plants and R&D facilities in 25 countries, selling products in over 150 markets worldwide. Tires accounted for approximately 84% of consolidated sales in 2011, with the remainder derived from a broad range of diversified products and services including industrial rubber and chemical products and golf equipment, bicycles and other sporting goods.

About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.:

Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world’s largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planet message, the company is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home. 

2012 World Golf Championships - Bridgestone Invitational - 77 qualified players as of 7-23-12 Country

Allenby, Robert - 2011 The Presidents Cup AUS

Baddeley, Aaron - 2011 The Presidents Cup AUS

Bae, Sang-Moon – Official World Golf Ranking KOR

Bekker, Oliver - 2012 Dimension Data Pro-Am (designated)SAF

Bjorn, Thomas - 2011 Omega European Masters DEN

Bradley, Keegan - 2011 PGA Championship USA

Byrd, Jonathan – Official World Golf Ranking USA

Cabrera-Bello, Rafael - 2012 Omega Dubai Desert Classic ESP

Chalmers, Greg - 2011 Emirates Australian Open, 2011 Australian PGA Championship AUS

Choi, K.J. - 2011 The Presidents Cup KOR

Colsaerts, Nicolas - 2012 Volvo World Match Play Championship BEL

Crane, Ben - 2011 TheMcGladrey Golf Classic USA

Day, Jason - 2011 The Presidents Cup AUS

Donald, Luke - 2012 BMW PGA Championship, 2012 Transitions Championship ENG

Donaldson, Jamie - 2012 Irish Open WAL

Dufner, Jason - 2012 Zurich Classic of of New Orleans, 2012 HP Byron Nelson Championship USA

Dyson, Simon - 2011 KLM Dutch Open ENG

Els, Ernie - 2011 The Presidents Cup SAF

Fernandez-Castanno, Gonzalo - 2011 Barclays Singapore Open ESP

Fowler, Rickie - 2012 Wells Fargo Championship USA

Fujimoto, Yoshinori - 2012 Japan Golf Tour Championship (designated) JPN

Furyk, Jim - 2011 The Presidents Cup USA

Garcia, Sergio - 2011 Andalucia Masters ESP

Goosen, Retief - 2011 The Presidents Cup SAF

Grace, Branden - 2012 Volvo Golf Champions, 2012 Volvo China Open SAF

Haas, Bill - 2011 The Presidents Cup, 2011 TOUR Championship, 2012 Northern Trust Open USA

Hanson, Peter – Official World Golf Ranking SWE

Hoey, Michael - 2011 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship NIR

Ishikawa, Ryo - 2011 The Presidents Cup JPN

Jaidee, Thongchai - 2012 ISPS Honda Wales Open THA

Jacobson,  Fredrik -  Official World Golf Ranking SWE

Johnson, Dustin - 2011 The Presidents Cup, 2011 The Barclays, 2012 FedEx St. Jude Classic USA

Johnson, Zach - 2012 Crowne Plaza Invitational USA

Kaymer, Martin - 2011 WGC-HSBC Champions GER

Kim, Kyung-tae - 2011 The Presidents Cup KOR

Kuchar, Matt - 2011 The Presidents Cup, 2012 THE PLAYERS Championship USA

Laird, Martin – Official World Golf Ranking SCO

Lawrie, Paul - 2012 Commercialbank Qatar Masters SCO

Leishman, Marc - 2012 Travelers Championship AUS

Lewis, Tom - 2011 Portugal Masters ENG

Mahan, Hunter –2011 Presidents Cup, 2012 WGC-Accentuire, 2012 Shell Houston Open USA

McDowell, Graeme – via Official World Golf Ranking NIR

McIlroy, Rory - 2011 UBS Hong Kong Open, 2012 Honda Classic NIR

Mickelson, Phil - 2011 The Presidents Cup, 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am USA

Molinari, Francesco - 2012 RealeSeguros Open de Espana ITA

Muto, Toshinori - 2011 Dunlop Phoenix JPN

Kevin Na – Officials World Golf Ranking USA

Ogilvy, Geoff - 2011 The Presidents Cup AUS

Oosthuizen, Louis - 2012 Maybank Malaysian Open SAF

Pettersson, Carl - 2012 RBC Heritage SWE

Potter, Jr., Ted - 2012 Greenbrier Classic USA

Poulter, Ian - 2011 JB Were Australian Masters (designated)ENG

Quiros, Alvaro - 2011 Dubai World Championship ESP

Rock, Robert - 2012 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship ENG

Rose, Justin - 2011 BMW Championship, 2012 WGC-Cadillac Championship ENG

Schwartzel, Charl - 2011 The Presidents Cup SAF

Scott, Adam - 2011 The Presidents Cup, 2011 WGC-Bridgestone AUS

Senden, John – Official World Golf Ranking AUS

Siem, Marcel - 2012 Alstom Open de France GER

Simpson, Webb - 2011 Presidents Cup, 2011 Wyndham Championship, 2011 Deutsche Bank Championship USA

Slattery, Lee - 2011 Bankia Madrid Masters ENG

Snedeker, Brandt - 2012 Farmers Insurance Open USA

Stanley, Kyle - 2012 Waste Management Open USA

Stricker, Steve - 2011 The Presidents Cup, 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions USA

Taniguchi, Toru - 2011 Bridgestone Open (designated) JAP

Toms, David - 2011 The Presidents Cup USA

Van Pelt, Bo – Official World Golf Ranking  USA

Wagner, Johnson - 2012 Sony Open in Hawaii USA

Watney, Nick - 2011 The Presidents Cup USA

Watson, Bubba - 2011 The Presidents Cup, 2012 Masters USA

Westwood, Lee - 2011 Thailand Golf Championship (designated) ENG

Wiesberger, Bernd - 2012 Ballantine's Championship AUS

Willett, Danny - 2012 BMW International Open ENG

Wilson, Mark - 2012 Humana Challenge  USA

Woods, Tiger - 2011 The President Cup, 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational, 2012 Memorial Tournament USA

Yang, Y.E. - 2011 The Presidents Cup   KOR

Players who are in the field at the RBC Canadian Open who are not currently qualified but could gain entry into the Bridgestone Invitational with a victory this week.

Adams, Blake

Aiken, Thomas

Ames, Stephen

Anderson, Mark

Andrade, Billy

Appleby, Stuart

Atwal, Arjun

Barnes, Ricky

Beljan, Charlie

Bertsch, Shane

Bettencourt, Matt

Biershenk, Tommy

Blanks, Kris

Bohn, Jason

Bowditch, Steven

Bradley, Michael

Brown, Scott

Campbell, Chad

Cantlay, Patrick

Carballo, Miguel Angel

Casey, Paul

Castro, Roberto

Cauley, Bud

Chappell, Kevin

Choi, Albin

Chopra, Daniel

Christian, Gary

Ciesielski, Victor

Clark, Tim

Claxton, Will

Coles, Gavin

Compton, Erik

Couture, Rob

Curtis, Ben

Daly, John

Davis, Brian

Dawson, Marco

DeLaet, Graham

DiMarco, Chris

Doherty, Greg

Duke, Ken

Dunlap, Scott

Duval, David

English, Harris

Estes, Bob

Every, Matt

Ferguson, Ben

Flores, Martin

Frazar, Harrison

Fritsch, Brad

Gainey, Tommy

Gangluff, Stephen

Garrigus, Robert

Gates, Bobby

Gay, Brian

Gillis, Tom

Gligic, Michael

Goggin, Mathew

Green, Nathan

Hadwin, Adam

Hamrick, Hunter

Harman, Brian

Hearn, David

Henry, J.J.

Herron, Tim

Hill, Matt

Hoffman, Charley

Holmes, J.B.

Horschel, Billy

Hughes, Mackenzie

Huh, John

Hurley III, Billy

Imada, Ryuji

Immelman, Trevor

Jones, Matt

Kang, Sung

Kelly, Jerry

Killeen, J.J.

Kirk, Chris

Kisner, Kevin

Knost, Colt

Knox, Russell

Kokrak, Jason

Lamely, Derek

Lancaster, Neal

Lee, Danny

Lee, Richard H.

Levin, Spencer

Loar, Edward

Lunde, Bill

Maggert, Jeff

Mallinger, John

Markle, David

Mathis, David

Matteson, Troy

Mayfair, Billy

McCann, Brian

McGirt, William

McNeill, George

McQuillan, Matt

Mills, Jon

Mulroy, Garth

Noh, Seung-Yul

O'Hair, Sean

O'Hern, Nick

Overton, Jeff

Owen, Greg

Palmer, Ryan

Parr, Andrew

Pernice Jr., Tom

Petrovic, Tim

Piercy, Scott

Points, D.A.

Reavie, Chez

Reifers, Kyle

Renfrew, Cory

Rocha, Alexandre

Ross, Chris

Sabbatini, Rory

Sheehan, Patrick

Singh, Vijay

Slocum, Heath

Snyder III, Joey

Stadler, Kevin

Stallings, Scott

Streelman, Kevin

Stroud, Chris

Summerhays, Daniel

Taylor, Nick

Teater, Josh

Thatcher, Roland

Thompson, Kyle

Thompson, Michael

Todd, Brendon

Trahan, D.J.

Tringale, Cameron

Vegas, Jhonattan

Villegas, Camilo

Walker, Jimmy

Weir, Mike

Wheatcroft, Steve

Wi, Charlie

Willis, Garrett

Wong, Eugene

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