July 21, 2006
World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational to Host International Field
Akron, Ohio, USA — The World Golf Championships were created to bring together the world's best golfers in competition.
In what continues to be an international affair, 40 players hailing from 17 different countries are currently qualified
for this year's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, on August 22-27.
They earned their places in the field by winning designated events around the globe or by being members of the 2005 United
States and International Presidents Cup teams.
In addition to the players who are currently qualified, the field will also feature any remaining players from the top-50
of the Official World Golf Ranking and members of the U.S. and European Ryder Cup teams who are not already qualified.
The game's top international players such as Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen, Sergio Garcia and U.S. Open Champion Geoff Ogilvy
have all qualified. Australia (eight players) and England (seven players) are the two countries with the most players currently
qualified. The Australian contingency includes 2006 World Golf Championship-Accenture Match Play Championship and U.S. Open
Champion Geoff Ogilvy as well as 2006 Mercedes Championships and Shell Houston Open winner Stuart Appleby. Peter Lonard
will join Craig Parry, Robert Allenby, Verizon Heritage Aaron Baddeley, Mark Hensby, Bay Hill Invitational champion Rod
Pampling and Adam Scott.
Honda Classic winner Luke Donald leads the England contingent of players. Donald is joined by David Howell, Lee Westwood,
Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, Thomas Bjorn, and John Bickerton.
South Africa has five players qualified for this year's event. Trevor Immelman guaranteed himself a place in the field by
holding off Tiger Woods at this year's Cialis Western Open. Retief Goosen, Tim Clark, Nissan Open champion and winner of
the PGA TOUR's West Coast Swing Rory Sabbatini and Charl Schwartzel have also qualified. Perennial top-10 ranked Ernie Els
would currently qualify for this year's event as he is well inside the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings.
Johan Edfors, who has won three times on the European Tour, will be joined in the field by fellow Swedes, including Memorial
Tournament champion Carl Pettersson, Commercialbank Qatar Master winner Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson.
Northern Ireland and Ireland send 2003 Bridgestone Invitational champion Darren Clarke as well as Padraig Harrington and
Clarke won the 2003 Bridgestone Invitational by four strokes with a final-round 67. Clarke also defeated Woods in the finals
at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship in 2000. Clarke has won close to $5 million in his career
at World Golf Championships events and is the second-leading money winner at the Bridgestone Invitational with more than
"When you get here and see all the pictures of all the previous winners and who's who in golf, it's one of those places
that I've grown up watching. It's just a fantastic golf course, tough but very fair," Clarke said.
Harrington was also a member of the 2004 Ryder Cup team and has wins at the 2004 Linde German Masters as well as the 2005
Honda Classic and Barclays Classic on the PGA TOUR.
A pair of Spaniards, Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez is also qualified.
The world's third-ranked ranked player Vijay Singh (Fiji), PLAYERS Championship winner Stephen Ames (Trinidad and Tobago),
Angel Cabrera (Argentina), Michael Campbell (New Zealand), K.J. Choi (Korea), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Germany), Shiv
Kapur (India), Thomas Levet (France), Colin Montgomerie (Scotland), Tatsuhiko Takahashi (Japan) and Mike Weir (Canada) round
out the list of international players who have qualified.
"International players have always enjoyed success here at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational," said
Tom Strong, Executive Director of the Bridgestone Invitational. "These events were created to give the world's strongest
golfers a chance to compete against each other and they have accomplished just that."
The 2006 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational will be held August 22-27 at Firestone Country Club. Tickets
can still be purchased by calling the Championship Office at 330-664-2299, by calling toll free 1-877-942-4849, or by logging
on to www.worldgolfchampionships.com.
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ABOUT THE BRIDGESTONE INVITATIONAL:
This year marks the eighth playing of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. The Bridgestone Invitational
is one of four World Golf Championships, which are sanctioned and organized by the International Federation of PGA Tours,
which includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Southern Africa Tour.
The other World Golf Championships include the Accenture Match Play Championship, American Express Championship and the
Barbados World Cup. For more information, please visit www.worldgolfchampionships.com.
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Bridgestone Golf, Inc., based in Covington, GA, manufactures and markets premium
golf balls, clubs and accessories under the Bridgestone and Precept brand names.
Bridgestone is represented on a world stage by a number of internationally famed
Fred Couples, Matt Kuchar,
Davis Love III, Brandt Snedeker,
Paula Creamer, Nick Price,
and Lee Trevino.
Bridgestone Golf, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bridgestone Sports Co. Ltd.,
whose headquarters are in Tokyo.
Bridgestone Golf, Inc. is proud to be the #1 Ball Fitter in Golf as the industry
leader in live launch monitor fittings. Bridgestone provides three ways for golfers
to find the ball that best fits their game: live fittings through the
Bridgestone Ball Fitting Challenge, live online
chats with ball fitting
experts through its B-FIT service, and an easily accessible
Online Ball Selection Guide. For more
information on ball fitting, including a complete schedule of Ball Fitting Challenge
events, visit www.bridgestonegolf.com.