Blog Entry

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 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

Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: July 29, 2011 12:20 pm

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

like he started blaming steve the last 2 years.

When did Tiger "blame" steve for anything.???

And don't say cuz they parted ways ethier. I would bet bank that Tiger actually stuck with steve thru all this b.s. Think about this: don't you think that when Tiger was tryin to work things out with his bee-yotch, that she dropped the hammer on Tiger with the stevie situation.??

 She surely told Tiger to dump steve or else......and don't forget about his over-bearing mother, Tilda, either. I would also lay 3 to 1 odds that she told him to run steve's arse off also. So maybe Tiger was the loyal one for the last 18 months or so, and stuck with steve, even though everyone in his camp prolly said to launch his butt.


Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: July 29, 2011 10:10 am

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

I freely admit that I cannot stand tiger, but I am glad he is back on the tour.  These past 22 months have been great for me as tiger has not sniffed victory once on the tour.  I expect that to continue through the end of this season, so all is right with the golfing world now. 

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: July 29, 2011 8:57 am

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

goriders1: If there actually was a cut. I expect he'll finish somewhere in the middle of the pack, which is all he may be expecting himself at this point. I believe his real goal is simply to get back into competitive golf before year's end instead of having to sit out until January or whatever. All the haters who "don't care" about him are hanging onto his every word and action as usual, it's really quite amusing. What they really hate is how they cannot ignore him.

Since: Sep 14, 2010
Posted on: July 29, 2011 6:33 am

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

I am very glad that tigger thinks he is ready. I have been missing the money i won off the tigger lovers since he walked off the course the last time. Its might get funny watching him blame his long time friend for a bad shot like he started blaming steve the last 2 years. Tigger might kill the friendship with his pimp buddy if he blames him for bad shots like he did steve. I look for a fun money making week.

Since: Jun 1, 2007
Posted on: July 29, 2011 1:53 am

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

Tiger is back on a golf course.....good news for the game of golf. I hope that does well, but as an athelete I find the odds are against him. However Tiger has defyed the odds his entire career and I would not be rule it out that he has an unhuman performance in him to close out the season.  A more realistic outcome is to see him play next week and the final major and maybe amass enough FedEx Cup Points to play the first two events then start working on an all out assault on next season and the record book. I fully expect that El Tigre will once again prowl the fairways and greens as he once did and at that time many naysayers will owe him and apology.

Tiger you need to just play golf the way that you have always played with a win at all cost mentality. NEVER GIVE UP NEVER SURRENDER

Since: Jan 7, 2011
Posted on: July 29, 2011 12:45 am

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

it will be great to see tiger back.......then we can all watch the has been  loser fall on his face on national tv

Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: July 29, 2011 12:26 am

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

My prediction. Tiger will play badly and withdraw without completing round one. Another injury will be the make believe cause.

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:56 pm

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

  Barring injury, I can almost guarantee that Tiger will make it to the weekend since there isn't a cut in the WGCs. How well he plays is another story. It is amazing that it has gotten to the point that there is a far better chance that his game will be a train wreck than if he would actually win the tournament. My guess is that it will be somewhere in between those two extremes. I actually hope he does well. I know there is a lot of vitriol out there concerning Woods, some deserved - some over the top, but I still feel the game is more interesting and exciting with him around. Despite everything that has happened I still think that Tiger coming back and playing well would be great for golf. Whether he can do that or not is a big question.    

Since: Aug 1, 2010
Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:44 pm

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

Tiger, might or might not be ready to play again and if he is, he may have to come to realize that it is not as easy as Darren Clarke made look like at The Open. I have a feeling that because his name was not mentioned that often at The Open that he has to come out and prove some golf analysts wrong. He has always aimed for the spotlight. I have always opined that perhaps he should have waited to come back until next year, but if he does well, maybe I will have been wrong, along with others and perhaps that is a good thing.

Since: Mar 10, 2008
Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:21 pm

Woods ambles back at Firestone after all

Woods will win  by 5 strokes    ???????? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

ahahaha  Hell consider it a  victory if he makes the cut.

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