Tiger Woods returns to golf next week

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Tiger Woods
Houston (USA), Jul 29: After almost three months on the sidelines due to a leg injury, former world number one Tiger Woods will return to the golf course with next week's Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.

Woods has won seven times on the Firestone Country Club course over his career. He has not played since the first round of the Players Championship in May. There is no word on who he will use for a caddie after firing Steve Williams two weeks ago.

Woods, who recently plummeted to number 21 in the world rankings -- the lowest since January 26, 1997 -- and fired his longtime caddie Steve Williams, announced Thursday on his website and Twitter account that he will tee up at the upcoming Bridgestone Invitational.

"Feeling fit and ready to tee it up at Firestone next week. Excited to get back out there!" Woods wrote on his Twitter account.

The golfer has not won a tournament since November 15, 2009 when he captured the Australian Masters.

His injuries came as he attempted to rebuild his image, on and off the course, following nearly two years of scandal surrounding his messy divorce and revelation of several extra-marital affairs.

He last played on May 12 at The Players Championship. He withdrew after posting a six-over on the front nine because of recurring pain in his left leg. 

Woods spent the last two months rebuilding strength in his healing left knee and Achilles tendon. By missing three months, including the last two majors, 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, leaving him only the Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship the following week to make up ground.

He is returning to a friendly course as Woods has won seven times at Firestone, matching the most he has won on any course as a pro.

However, he finished 78th in an 80-man field last year. Before that, Woods had never finished out of the top five in Akron, Woods missed the second half of the 2008 season following reconstructive knee surgery.

He recently fired his caddie, Steve Williams, who worked for him for 12 years. Woods remains stuck on 14 majors -- four behind Jack Nicklaus' record of 18.

His last major came at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines -- and he nearly missed the cut the last time the PGA Championship was played at Atlanta Athletic Club in 2001

PTI

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