World Golf Championships - Bridgestone Invitational

From Ohio History Central

The World Golf Championships - Bridgestone Invitational is an annual golfing tournament sponsored by the International Federation of PGA Tours and hosted by the Firestone Country Club, in Akron, Ohio.

In 1929, Harvey Firestone authorized the construction of the Firestone Country Club for his employees at the Firestone Rubber and Tire Company. The club is located in Akron, Ohio, and today consists of three separate golf courses.

In 1954, the first professional tournament occurred at the Firestone Country Club. Known as the Rubber City Open, this tournament lasted until 1960, when the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Championship occurred at the club. The PGA has held its championship at the Firestone Country Club in 1960, 1966, and 1975. Beginning in 1961, the American Golf Classic took place at Firestone. This tournament remained at the club until 1976. In 1962, the World of Series of Golf began to hold an event at the Firestone Country Club. By 1976, this tournament had evolved into one of the leading competitions on the PGA tour schedule. This event ended in 1998.

In 1999, PGA officials introduced a new international tournament at Firestone known as the World Series of Golf's WSG-NEC Invitational. The International Federation of PGA Tours organizes and sanctions the event. The tournament left Firestone in 2002, but returned in 2003. In 2006, Bridgestone became the tournament's sponsor and the named was changed to the WGC -  Bridgestone International.

Generally, the tournament field is one-half the size of those in other tournaments, because this is an invitation only event, with only the best golfers in the world invited to participate. Tiger Woods won the tournament in its first three years of existence.

See Also