Tiger Woods Bridgestone - Tiger Woods will finally set his return to golf at the Bridgestone Invitational next week at the Firestone Country Club in Akron Ohio. The professional golfer will have been out of the game for nearly 3 months, trying to heal from leg injuries. He posted on his Twitter account that he’s “feeling fit and ready to tee it up at Firestone next week. Excited to get back out there!”
A few weeks ago Woods fired his longtime caddie and friend Steve Williams without naming a replacement. Reportedly over anger that Williams was caddie for rival Adam Scott, while Woods was out of action, without asking permission. Thursday night the Golf Channel reported that Byron Bell a childhood friend and president of Tiger Woods Design, would caddie for him at the Bridgestone Invitational.
Indications are Bell would only be a temporary replacement, though he has caddied for Woods a few times before in the past. “No long-term caddie has been discussed with Tiger as of yet,” Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, said in an e-mail to USA TODAY. Bell was also implicated during Woods’ sex scandal as allegedly arranging travel for one of his mistresses.
Woods has fallen to No. 21 in the world, his lowest ranking since Jan. 26, 1997, and has gone more than 20 months since last winning the Australian Masters on Nov. 15, shortly before he was exposed for having multiple extramarital affairs that led to divorce. He last played May 12 at The Players Championship, when he withdrew after going 6 over on the front nine because of recurring pain in his left leg. He has said he would not compete again until he was fully healed.
Woods has gone from No. 81 to No. 133 in the FedEx Cup standings. Only the top 125 players qualify for the opening round of the playoffs at The Barclays, likely leaving him only the Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship the following week to make up ground. Otherwise, he would have at least five weeks off without being able to play on the PGA Tour.
Woods has won seven times at Firestone, matching the most he has won on any course as a pro. However, he was at his low point on the course in the Bridgestone Invitational last year when he finished 78th in an 80-man field. Before that, Woods had never finished out of the top five.