WGC-NEC Invitational

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
Tournament information
Location Akron, Ohio
Established 1976
Course(s) Firestone Country Club
South Course
Par 70
Length 7,400 yards (6,767 m)
Tour(s) PGA Tour
European Tour
Japan Golf Tour
Format Stroke play
Prize fund $8.75 million
Month played August
Tournament record score
Aggregate 259 Tiger Woods (2000)
To par –21 Tiger Woods (2000)
Current champion
United States Tiger Woods
2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
United States

The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational is a professional golf tournament, one of the annual World Golf Championships. It is sanctioned and organized by the International Federation of PGA Tours and the prize money is official money on both the PGA Tour and the European Tour. The event, sponsored by NEC through 2005 and known as the WGC-NEC Invitational, was established in 1999 as a successor to the World Series of Golf, which was also sponsored by NEC.

The tournament changed sponsorship in 2006, with Bridgestone taking over from NEC as title sponsor. As a part of the original five-year sponsorship agreement, the event continues to be held at its traditional site of the South Course of Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio; the sponsorship has now been extended to 2014.

The WGC-NEC/Bridgestone Invitational

The current event has a field of about 75 players, roughly half the number for a standard professional golf event. Invitations are issued to the following:

From 1999 to 2001, only the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams were eligible and the field was about 40 players. Prior to 2011, both Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams were eligible.

All events have been held at the South Course of Firestone Country Club, except the 2002 edition. It was played at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Washington, which hosted the PGA Championship in 1998.

World Series of Golf

From 1976 through 1998, the PGA Tour event at Firestone Country Club was the "World Series of Golf," and was sponsored by NEC beginning in 1984. It was founded as a four-man invitational event in 1962, comprising the winners of the four major championships in a 36-hole event.[1] A made-for-television exhibition, the competitors played in one group for $75,000 in unofficial prize money, televised by NBC.


The inaugural edition in September 1962 included only the "Big Three" of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player. Palmer had won two majors that year and a fourth competitor was not added. Palmer shot a course record 65 in the first round on Saturday, but fell back with a 74 on Sunday. Nicklaus won with 135, four strokes ahead of Palmer and Player. Nicklaus, age 22, won a then-staggering $50,000, with $15,000 for second and $5,000 each for third and fourth, split between the other two for $12,500 each.[2][3] The highest paying major at the time was the Masters with a winner's share of $20,000; Nicklaus had won $17,500 at the U.S. Open at Oakmont, which included a sizable $2,500 playoff bonus from the extra day's gate receipts, well-attended due to the presence of favorite son Palmer.

In 1963, Nicklaus won two majors, so a fourth player was added to the World Series via an 18-hole playoff between the three men who had lost playoffs in that year's majors; Palmer and Jacky Cupit in the U.S. Open and Phil Rodgers in the Open Championship.[4] Palmer prevailed in the August playoff by five strokes.[5] Nicklaus repeated as the World Series winner in September, one stroke ahead of Julius Boros, with Palmer in third and Bob Charles in fourth.[6]

The first year with four players as reigning major champions was 1964, the first without Nicklaus.[7] Tony Lema took the top spot, followed by Ken Venturi, Bobby Nichols, and Palmer.[8][9]

In the final year of the four-man format in 1975, Tom Watson won with a two-stroke advantage over runner-up Nicklaus. The money was the same as in 1962, except that third place received $7,500, claimed by Tom Weiskopf.[10] Nicklaus had won his second major of the year, the PGA Championship, at the same course a month earlier. In the fourteen editions of the event, Nicklaus played in ten, won four, and finished as runner-up in six.

In subsequent years, if one man won more than one major, the alternate was the Western Open or Canadian Open winner.[11][12][13][14][15]

The format of the four major winners in a 36-hole competition was later adopted by the PGA of America in 1979 for its PGA Grand Slam of Golf.


In 1976, it became a 72-hole, $300,000 PGA Tour event and its field was initially expanded to twenty;[16] the victory and $100,000 winner's share went to Nicklaus.[17] The largest first prize at a major in 1976 was $45,000 at the PGA Championship.

The World Series of Golf quickly became a leading event on the tour. For many years a victory in it gave a 10-year exemption on the PGA Tour, the same as was granted for a victory in a major championship at that time, and twice as long as is given even for winning a major now. The field consisted of the winners of all the high status men's professional golf tournaments around the world in the previous twelve months. This was quite different from the criteria for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational listed above, but produced much the same sort of global field.

WGC winners

Year Player Country Winner's
To par Margin
of victory
share ($)
WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
2013 Tiger Woods (8)  United States 66-61-68-70=265 –15 7 strokes 1,500,000
2012 Keegan Bradley  United States 67-69-67-64=267 –13 1 stroke 1,400,000
2011 Adam Scott  Australia 62-70-66-65=263 –17 4 strokes 1,400,000
2010 Hunter Mahan  United States 71-67-66-64=268 –12 2 strokes 1,400,000
2009 Tiger Woods (7)  United States 68-70-65-65=268 –12 4 strokes 1,400,000
2008 Vijay Singh  Fiji 67-66-69-68=270 –10 1 stroke 1,350,000
2007 Tiger Woods (6)  United States 68-70-69-65=272 –8 8 strokes 1,350,000
2006 Tiger Woods (5)  United States 67-64-71-68=270 –10 Playoff 1,300,000
WGC-NEC Invitational
2005 Tiger Woods (4)  United States 66-70-67-71=274 –6 1 stroke 1,300,000
2004 Stewart Cink  United States 63-68-68-70=269 –11 4 strokes 1,200,000
2003 Darren Clarke  Northern Ireland 65-70-66-67=268 –12 4 strokes 1,050,000
2002* Craig Parry  Australia 72-65-66-65=268 –16 4 strokes 1,000,000
2001 Tiger Woods (3)  United States 66-67-66-69=268 –12 Playoff 1,000,000
2000 Tiger Woods (2)  United States 64-61-67-67=259 –21 11 strokes 1,000,000
1999 Tiger Woods  United States 66-71-62-71=270 –10 1 stroke 1,000,000

*Note: the 2002 edition was played at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Washington

World Series of Golf winners

Year Player Country Winner's
share ($)
NEC World Series of Golf
1998 David Duval  United States 405,000
1997 Greg Norman (2)  Australia 396,000
1996 Phil Mickelson  United States 378,000
1995 Greg Norman  Australia 360,000
1994 José María Olazábal (2)  Spain 360,000
1993 Fulton Allem  South Africa 360,000
1992 Craig Stadler (2)  United States 252,000
1991 Tom Purtzer  United States 216,000
1990 José María Olazábal  Spain 198,000
1989 David Frost  South Africa 180,000
1988 Mike Reid  United States 162,000
1987 Curtis Strange  United States 144,000
1986 Dan Pohl  United States 126,000
1985 Roger Maltbie  United States 126,000
1984 Denis Watson  Zimbabwe 126,000
World Series of Golf
1983 Nick Price  Zimbabwe 100,000
1982 Craig Stadler  United States 100,000
1981 Bill Rogers  United States 100,000
1980 Tom Watson  United States 100,000
1979 Lon Hinkle  United States 100,000
1978 Gil Morgan  United States 100,000
1977 Lanny Wadkins  United States 100,000
1976 Jack Nicklaus  United States 100,000

World Series of Golf (unofficial event) winners

Year Winner Second Third Fourth
1975 Tom Watson (O) Jack Nicklaus (MP) Tom Weiskopf (C[15]) Lou Graham (U)
1974 Lee Trevino (P) Gary Player (MO) Bobby Nichols (C[14]) Hale Irwin (U)
1973 Tom Weiskopf (O) (tie) Johnny Miller (U) & Jack Nicklaus (P) Tommy Aaron (M)
1972 Gary Player (P) (tie) Jack Nicklaus (MU) & Lee Trevino (O) Gay Brewer (C[13])
1971 Charles Coody (M) Jack Nicklaus (P) Lee Trevino (UO) Bruce Crampton (W[12])
1970 Jack Nicklaus (O) (tie) Billy Casper (M) & Dave Stockton (P) Tony Jacklin (U)
1969 Orville Moody (U) George Archer (M) (tie) Tony Jacklin (O) & Raymond Floyd (P)
1968 Gary Player (O) Bob Goalby (M) Julius Boros (P) Lee Trevino (U)
1967 Jack Nicklaus (U) Gay Brewer (M) Roberto De Vicenzo (O) Don January (P)
1966 Gene Littler (C[11]) (tie) Jack Nicklaus (MO) & Al Geiberger (P) Billy Casper (U)
1965 Gary Player (U) Jack Nicklaus (M) Peter Thomson (O) Dave Marr (P)
1964 Tony Lema (O) Ken Venturi (U) Bobby Nichols (P) Arnold Palmer (M)[9]
1963 Jack Nicklaus (MP) Julius Boros (U) Arnold Palmer (playoff)[4] Bob Charles (O)[6]
1962 Jack Nicklaus (U) (tie) Arnold Palmer (MO) & Gary Player (P)

Major winners: M = Masters, U = U.S. Open, O = Open Championship, P = PGA Championship
Alternate winners: C = Canadian Open, W = Western Open

  • Palmer won an 18-hole playoff between the three runners-up of the two majors' playoffs in 1963.
Place Money ($)
1 50,000
2 15,000
3 7,500
4 5,000
  • Third place was $5,000 in first three editions.


External links

Coordinates: 41°00′29″N 81°30′29″W / 41.008°N 81.508°W / 41.008; -81.508