‘Special to me:’ Tiger Woods reflects on last Bridgestone Invitational in Akron

Arnold Nichols
August 5, 2018

Tiger Woods is near the top of the leaderboard again. It's the WGC Bridgestone, in OH, a track he's won at eight times in his career.

"There are just courses that fit your eye better than some others", Rory McIlroy said.

Having played only four tournaments in 29 months because of four back surgeries, Woods returned in December at No. 1,199 in the world. After five top-10s in 13 tournaments, he is now No. 50.

But the 35-year-old Italian arrives with new confidence after his triumph at Carnoustie, a major breakthrough that followed on the heels of a dominant victory at the Quicken Loans National and a tie for second at the John Deere Classic. "I played myself into a great position". 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 just couldn't quite get a feel for it". "It's one of the few tournaments that is kind of a small-town atmosphere", Woods said.

"As I said, it was going to sting for a while, and it certainly does because I had a great chance at it", he said.

Was it the first victory in 1999 when he beat Phil Mickelson by one shot? His iron play has been pretty good, and his putting was phenomenal at The Open, so if he can get his off-the-tee game together, I think this is where we'll finally see Tiger win again. He defeated Jim Furyk in a seven-hole playoff in 2001 and shot a career-low 61 in 2013 en route to his last win.

Day, who has been mentored by Woods in recent years, said that goes away when they are competing.

"I just kept either hitting a pull or hitting a cut". He s won here as many times as I ve won everywhere in my career.

A ninth victory at Firestone would also put Woods closer to his goal of playing in the Ryder Cup - as well as serving as an assistant to United States captain Jim Furyk. He won at Firestone two years ago and, like Woods, calls it one of his favorite stops of the year because it is big, tree-lined and doesn't have many frills.

He is playing alongside fellow American and Fed Ex Cup champion Justin Thomas for the first two rounds.

"When you go out on the course and you re playing with some of the best players in the world, you confront yourself with them", Molinari said. "Tiger has proved that here, with Bay Hill, with Torrey Pines, with well, actually, anywhere". He hasn't been eligible since then.

"This place is like Augusta for him".

But it seems like a win in 2018 is only a matter of time.

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