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Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

Posted on: July 28, 2011 8:38 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 3:20 pm
 

ORLANDO, Fla. -- As ever, Tiger Woods is keeping ‘em guessing.

Despite the fact that he hasn’t worked with his swing coach in two months, Woods said Thursday night that he will play next week at the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, where he has seven wins.

It stands to reason that he’ll play the following week, too, at the season’s final major, the PGA Championship in suburban Atlanta. The host PGA of America confirmed Friday that Woods has committed to play.

"I'm excited to get back out there," Woods said on his website.

Nobody has a clue what to expect, frankly.

Quite possibly including Woods himself.

Woods hasn’t completed 18 holes since the Masters, when he injured a ligament in his left knee and aggravated an Achilles problem in the same leg. He quit after nine holes at the Players Championship in mid-May, after tweaking the same two injuries.

The last time he played at Firestone, he had his worst four-round finish as a professional, finishing second-to last in the field. A week later, he began working with Orlando swing coach Sean Foley and began a complete overhaul of his swing, the results of which remain decidedly mixed.

Woods' website said Thursday night: "Following the advice of his doctors, Woods has rested and rehabbed his left leg, and just recently began hitting practice balls."

However, Foley said Tuesday told CBSSports.com and the Golf Channel that he hasn’t worked with Woods on the practice range in weeks and had no idea when he planned to return to the tour. With the announcement, the two are set to practice together Friday, where there's certainly much work to be done and rust to shake off.

Woods, now spending much of his time in Jupiter, Fla., has a backyard practice area with several short holes, so it stands to reason that he’s been practicing on his own. Woods hasn’t won on the PGA Tour in 22 months, easily the longest drought of his career, and this week dropped to No. 21 in the world, his lowest ranking since his first full season as a pro in 1997.

That’s not all that’s in transition, if not upheaval. Last week he fired Steve Williams, his loyal caddie and point man for the past 12 years, and according to the Golf Channel, will use boyhood friend and employee Bryon Bell on the bag next week at Firestone. Bell caddied for Woods at the Disney World event almost a decade ago and the two have been friends since junior high and played on the same prep golf team together in Southern California.

Bell, who was directly linked to the never-ending Woods sex scandal by online news reports, is now the head of Woods’ near-dormant golf-course design firm, so he’s likely got plenty of spare time.

Woods hasn’t hit a shot since May 12, when he shot 42 on the front nine of the first round at TPC Sawgrass and walked off the course. Over the past few weeks, Woods insisted that this time, he would not return until his leg had fully healed. Doctors have green-lighted Woods to play, agent Mark Steinberg said.

"Cleared and ready to play next week," Steinberg said in an email Thursday night. "Sean is his coach and no changes."

After years of defying medical advice and causing even more wear and tear on a knee that has seen four surgeries, the 35-year-old decided to take a more prudent tack. As a result, he’s only played in six PGA Tour events this year tournaments. He has played 21 official rounds globally, including a first-round loss at the Accenture Match Play.

What happens next? At this point, it’s hard to say.

Firestone is a hilly track and Woods hurt himself hitting fairly routine golf shots from moderately flat terrain at Augusta National and Sawgrass.

“Feeling fit and ready to tee it up at Firestone next week,” Woods tweeted. “Excited to get back out there!”

With an exclamation point, mind you.

It was now or never, for all practical porposes, as it related to the 2011 season.

Had he not played next week, or at the PGA Championship, his season likely would have been over. He is ranked 133rd in FedEx Cup points and only the top 125 advance to the four FedEx series events, which start two weeks after the PGA.

Unless he moves up the points list over the next two weeks, he won’t be eligible to play in any of the four, including the third leg in the series, the BMW Championship, where he won his last PGA Tour title in September, 2009, a few weeks before his career-derailing scandal began.

Woods finished a distant T29 at the PGA Championship in 2001, the last time it was played at Atlanta Athletic Club. He actually committed to play the season's final major three weeks ago, a PGA of America official said Friday. The commitment deadline for the PGA was July 7.

Category: Golf
Comments

Since: Jul 30, 2011
Posted on: July 30, 2011 6:30 pm
 

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

It is amazing what a short memory people have when it comes to the Tiger Woods story. Yes, he screwed up. He paid dearly for it. probably more than any other sports or entertainment personality in history. When you speak of Tom Watson you either are not aware or have chosen to have selective amnesia. Watson struggled for years with drinking issues that impacted his game and ruined his marriage of 20 plus years. Were there other women along the way, of course. It is almost impossible to name a PGA golfer in history who has not played around as most are on at least their second marriage. Have you ever asked yourself why all these pro golfers have beautiful wife's? Could it be the money and glamorous life styles this women fall in love with. Isn't it interesting that the scorned former Mrs.Tiger Woods is now dating a guy who is the heir to a BILLIONAIRE! Might she have been a bit of a gold digger herself. It is time to cut Tiger some slack and hope that he can regain his game, challenge Jack's record and make Golf exciting again.



Since: Apr 1, 2009
Posted on: July 30, 2011 6:24 pm
 

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

Tiger can win if he has enough fans in the crowd to kick his errant shots out into the fairway.

He is a POS not just for the way he abused his wife but also he needs to be drug tested.
He has obviously taking steroids for years which is what caused his leg problems.
Just look at before & after pictures over the years.

He's fallen and he can't get up.




Since: Aug 22, 2010
Posted on: July 30, 2011 6:22 pm
 

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

I hope Tiger doesn't make the cut. Gimp stick.



Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: July 30, 2011 5:25 pm
 

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

Tiger did not set out to hurt his wife -  Who knows what issues they had before all this started happening - I have two close friends that cheated on their wives.  Both times were shocking, but there was the realization that there were other problems present before these transgressions took place.   People don't plan to hurt the ones they love, it just turns out that way sometimes.  I believe that Tiger loves Elin, but that something was obviously missing.  I feel awful that she had to go through all of that.  It must have been very difficult to get through those tough times.  I just think that hundreds of millions of dollars would have a way of soothing those hurt feelings.  I think Tiger put himself in position to make sure that his children, and their mother will be well taken care of for the rest of their lives.  He is staying involved.  He's not pulling a Lee Trevino, and just abandoning his kids for 20+ years.  Do you have any idea how many ugly, crushing, heart wrenching, nasty, scandalous divorces there have been on the PGA Tour that are quietly swept under the carpet on a monthly, if not weekly basis?  There's a player in my hometown who married his college sweetheart.  He was the hometown hero, and has a chior-boy image and reputation.  He was busted flying floozies around the country.  He had a girl in just about every town where the Tour stopped.  The wife dumped him, and took half of all his shi*.  Nobody raised an eyebrow.  Tiger behaved badly.  He has recognized the error in his ways.  He's not the first man to get himself into trouble over an amped up sex drive.  Powerful and famous people often feel that they are above the rules that the rest of the world must follow -  Tiger was not the first, and definitely won't be the last to give in to temptaions that come along with fame and fortune.  Since tiger's scandal, there has been scandal after scandal involving politicians, actors, athletes etc etc etc.  

Tiger is coming back to compete at the Firestone.  that's awesome -  Stop judging the guy on things that are out of your realm of concern -  



Since: Sep 4, 2010
Posted on: July 30, 2011 5:10 pm
 

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

Hmm....72 wins and 13 majors?  Guess you have not been paying attention.



Since: Feb 20, 2008
Posted on: July 30, 2011 4:58 pm
 

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

Elling,

If Tiger did not play next week then you would be writing the exact same article heading into the final major. So by using the Firestone as a prep he will have two-half weeks of practice and one tournament under his belt. Not normal but its better than nothing.

But certainly don't mention that fact, instead focus on the negative. Dipstick.

 




Since: Feb 12, 2009
Posted on: July 30, 2011 1:14 pm
 

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all


I find it hard to feel all that sorry for his wife.  She was hurt and humiliated.  That is bad and sad but she has been compensated for that pain, and then some

That is your problem.  There is no compensation for that kind of pain and embarassment.  Only time.   You only think in terms of money.  Just like Tiger, both of you think money is the solution.

You feel more sorry for Tiger than you do the wife.  Who is the victim here.





Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: July 30, 2011 1:04 pm
 

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

He's won there seven times. I know he struggled there last time, but his mind set is different now.  Whether that is a good thing or not remains to be seen.  The cool thing is that no matter what he does, it won't be that much of a shock.  He if plays well and contends, it won't be that shocking.  If he misses the cut.  No surprise there.  If he plays nine holes and quits.  Surprised?  If he WINS by 8 strokes.  That's no surprise, he's Tiger freaking Woods.  I think there is as good a chance that he'll play great as struggle.  We'll see.  I predict that he will shoot in the 60's on day one.  



Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: July 30, 2011 12:54 pm
 

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

Instead it should be LIFESTYLE of pompous,arrogant,attitude,temper,countless extra-maritial affairs,and god knows what else.

Popeye -  Who are you?  Dr. Phil?  I guess you must consider yourself to be a humble person, with incredible self control, that would never be disloyal to your spouse or signifcant other.  

You probably are humble. There's nothing for you NOT to be humble about in your anonymous, pathetic existence.  Tiger is the most recognizable athlete on the planet.  He is the greatest player in the history of the greatsest game on Earth.  He has remained remarkable humble considering all his accomplishments, and the way he DOMINATED the game.   It would be extremely awkward and weird for YOU to be arrogant when there nothing of any substance to back that arrogance up.  Temper?  So many great players, personalities, and people in the game have legendary tempers.  Next.  Extra-marital affairs?  Sex scandal?  So tiger Woods is the only high profile icon to have these issues come into play?  C'mon.  You have NO CLUE what it has been like to grow up in the spotlight, and under so much pressure, like Tiger did.  He didn't have a "normal" childhood.  He was working since he was a toddler.  His father, like the Williams sisters (tennis) and so many other crazy sports parents, was driving Tiger to be the best he could be in the game, and he took it to unprededented heights.  For the most part their relationship seems to have been a good and healthy thing, but there are so many issues that we have NO IDEA about.  We should have NO IDEA as it is NONE of our business.  Tiger, and all human beings make decisions at given times in their lives that made sense to them when they were making them.  Stupid things often times seem so smart while we are doing them.  I am sure YOU are not immune to that, unless you are different from every other human being that ever lived.  

Tiger has negatively impacted some lives. None more than HIS OWN.  I find it hard to feel all that sorry for his wife.  She was hurt and humiliated.  That is bad and sad but she has been compensated for that pain, and then some.  She has the blessings of two beautiful children, and the means to make their lives happy and comfortable, to say the least.   It didn't work out.  Is Tiger really all that unique in this respect?  This TMZ world we live in suck, quite frankly.  None of this stuff was anyone's business except Tiger and his family.  It is outrageous and disgusting what the press has become in this country and around the world.  

And pathetic, mean spririted, sanctimonious, holier than thou jerk/idiots like you feed the frenzy.   



Since: Aug 9, 2010
Posted on: July 30, 2011 12:47 pm
 

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

As a golf fan it would be nice to see Mr. Woods tee it up again and play well however I doubt we will see Tiger play well enough to contend, even if this is one of his favorite tracks.



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