|Location||Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.|
|Length||7,244 yards (6,624 m)|
|Aggregate||259 Tiger Woods (2000)|
|To par||−21 Tiger Woods (2000)|
|2018 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational|
The WGC Invitational (WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational starting in 2019) 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, except for the 2016 event, the European Tour. The event was established in 1999 as a successor to the World Series of Golf.
From 1999 through 2005, the WGC Invitational was sponsored by NEC. NEC had also sponsored the World Series of Golf from 1984 to 1998. The tournament changed sponsorship in 2006, with Bridgestone taking over as title sponsor. As a part of the sponsorship agreement, the event continued to be held at the South Course of Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. In August 2013, the Bridgestone sponsorship was extended through 2018.
Prior to 2019 the event was hosted at the South Course of Firestone Country Club, with one exception. The 2002 event was played at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Washington. Beginning in 2019, the WGC Invitational will be held at TPC Southwind.
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:
- Playing members of the last named Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup teams (whichever was played last).
- Players ranked among the top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking (one week and two weeks prior to event).
- Tournament winners of worldwide events since the prior year's tournament with an Official World Golf Ranking Strength of Field Rating of 115 points or more.
- The winner of one selected tournament from each of the PGA Tour of Australasia, Sunshine Tour and Asian Tour and two selected tournaments from the Japan Golf Tour.
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.
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. the competitors played in one group for $75,000 in unofficial prize money, televised by NBC.
In 1976, it became a 72-hole, $300,000 PGA Tour event and its field was initially expanded to twenty; the victory and $100,000 winner's share went to Nicklaus. 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 Invitational listed above, but produced much the same sort of global field.
- PGA Tour and European Tour – WGC event (1999–2015), (2017– )
- PGA Tour – WGC event (2016)
- Ridenour, Marla (August 4, 2013). "PGA Tour, Bridgestone extend contract to keep tournament at Firestone C.C. through 2018". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
- Wright, Branson (April 12, 2018). "WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will leave Firestone in 2019". cleveland.com.
- "2019 Dates Announced". PGA Tour. July 9, 2018.
- "World Series of Golf back for final time". The Augusta Chronicle. AP. August 27, 1998. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- "Now golf has a real World Series". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. August 29, 1976. p. 7B.
- "Nicklaus silences his doubters". Palm Beach Post. wire services. September 6, 1976. p. D1.