Players to Watch in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational

Woods sunk Stewart Cink in a playoff in 2006

The most recent of those victories was also the last time Woods won a tournament, back in 2013.

He returns to Firestone this week for what is likely the final time, as the PGA Tour stalwart hosts the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational one previous year before the tournament moves to Memphis and becomes the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

Woods' impressive birdie, his third of the round through eight holes, put him fourth on the leaderboard and just four strokes off the leader, Kyle Stanley.

His pre-season goal to make it all the way to the season-ending TOUR Championship at East Lake next month?

And it was the seventh time he shot 66 or better in the opening round of this tournament; he won five of the previous six times. I saw some of the people I've seen for over 15 years out here today, wish me good luck today and they were walking a few holes.

"I was kind of laughing because most of the media at the time were sceptical of my game plan and it played myself right into the lead".

That year he was also tied 4th at the Masters and tied 6th at the Open. The event will be a precursor to the 2024 Ryder Cup being held on the same course just east of New York City.

"This event has been very special to me over the years, and it's sad to see it leave Firestone", Woods said. This was a nice pick-me-up for DJ after missing the cut at The Open championship before heading into one of the last World Golf Championship matches of the season.

McIlroy came from behind to see off the challenge of Sergio Garcia on Sunday afternoon as he lifted the trophy four years ago and he credited the fast start he made to his final round as the catalyst.

"You know he s going to play well this week", American Justin Thomas said of Woods.

"It's a long and narrow golf course, a bit old-styled with mature trees lining the fairways".

"I'm starting to drive the ball really well and there are a few tee shots out here if you can carry it over 300 yards it's a big advantage on the rest of the field. There are just courses that fit your eye better than some others", McIlroy said. "Tiger has proved that here, with Bay Hill, with Torrey Pines, with well, actually, anywhere".

Lahiri will play with Luke List at 10.20 am from the first tee, while Woods will start play with Jason Day at the same time but from the tenth tee. There are also plenty of really good players who are in the middle tier range relative to the field like Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, and last years victor Hideki Matsuyama. He could probably take two, three weeks off and he s going to get it around here fine, because he knows how to. "So he's going to be very, very comfortable here".

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