Tiger Woods Bridgestone Return Expected Next Week
Tiger Woods' Bridgestone return is here. The golfer, who has not played competitively since May, announced Thursday he would return to action next week at the Bridgestone Invitational.
Woods has won the World Golf Championship event, played at the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, seven times. He had never finished outside the Top 10 in the event until he tied for 78th last year.
The announcement was made on Woods' Web site.
"I'm excited to get back out there," Woods said.
Having held the No. 1 spot in the world golf rankings for most of his career, Woods has slipped out of the Top 20 following the unraveling of his personal life and a chronic knee injury that he aggravated during the last round of the Masters in April.
Woods then sat out a month and teed off at The Players Championship in his most recent comeback bid. He complained of more knee pain while playing the front nine of the TPC-Sawgrass course during the first day of that tournament and withdrew midway through the round, and has not played since.
In the interim he has fired caddy Steve Williams, with whom he won all but one of his 14 major championships, UPI.com reports.
The Golf Channel reported that Byron Bell, a longtime friend of Woods, would caddy for him at Firestone next week. The PGA Championship, the fourth and final major tournament of the year, will be played the week after that at the Atlantic Athletic Club.
Woods needs four more major crowns to equal the record career total won by Jack Nicklaus.
Woods has not won since the 2009 BMW Championship, which was the last of his six victories that year. He has played in 19 tournaments since then and his best finish has been a tie for fourth at both the 2010 and 2011 Masters as well as the 2010 U.S. Open.