*After three months away from the game, Tiger Woods announced Thursday he will return next week at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.
“I’m excited to get back out there,” Woods said on his website.
Woods said he aggravated a mild medial collateral ligament strain to his left knee and a strained left Achilles tendon at the Players Championship in May. He withdrew after nine holes and hasn’t played in a tournament since. Woods originally injured himself while hitting a recovery shot during the third round of the Masters in April.
At the AT&T National last month, a tournament that benefits Woods’s foundation, Woods said he probably came back too soon at the Players.
“Probably in retrospect it was a borderline call whether I should have played the Players,” Woods said. “I made the call on that and played and wasn’t quite 100 percent. Unfortunately I hurt myself there. Now this time around, it’s different. I’m going at it differently. I’m setting no timetable, which is very different for me.”
So far this season, Woods has only played in six events. This week the former World No. 1 player dropped out of the top 20, and he’s in danger of missing the PGA Tour’s season-ending playoff series.
Fortunately for Woods he’s returning at a tournament without a 36-hole cut on a golf course where he’s has plenty of success, winning the title a record seven times.
Not only will the focus be on Woods, but also who will be carrying his bag. Last week Woods fired Steve Williams, his caddie for the past 12 years, and he’s yet to name a permanent replacement. Golf Channel reported Thursday night that Bryon Bell, a childhood friend and president of Tiger Woods design, would caddie for Woods at Firestone.