Woods makes return at Bridgestone

August, 3, 2011
8/03/11
3:53
PM ET
Tiger Woods
Woods
Tiger Woods makes his return to competitive golf Thursday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, ending an 11-week break. We last saw Woods May 12 at the Players Championship when he walked off the course after nine holes with recurring injuries to his left knee and Achilles tendon.

Since that day in Florida, Woods has fallen to 28th in the Official World Golf Rankings, his lowest since January 1997. He’s also parted ways with his long-time caddie, Steve Williams, who was on his bag for 12 years, helping Woods to 63 overall wins – including 13 majors.

Taking the place of Williams will be Bryon Bell, a childhood friend who heads up a design business. Woods has said this arrangement will be temporary, but Bell has caddied for Woods on three different occasions on the PGA Tour, including Tigers’ win at the 1999 Buick Invitational (Bell was also on the bag when Woods finished tied for second at the 2000 Buick Invitational and the 2003 FUNAI Classic at Disney). In addition, Bell also caddied for Woods when he won the 1996 U.S. Amateur.

Woods has dominated at Firestone Country Club, site of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. In his first 10 events there as a professional, Woods recorded seven wins and 10 top-10 finishes. However, last year was a different story as Tiger shot consecutive rounds over par. His 18-over for the weekend was his worst score to par as a professional as he finished tied for 78th (next to last).

Woods has not won an event since the 2009 Australian Masters. In fact, in his last 22 events since that win, he has only seven top 10 finishes, has withdrawn from two other tournaments and missed the cut at the 2010 Quail Hollow Championship.

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