Woods has sights on ninth title at 'special' Firestone

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Both men play well in Akron and with the US PGA at Bellerive Country Club in St Louis next week, they see this as a chance to warm engines over 72 holes with no cut.

Few golfers have owned one event the way Tiger Woods has dominated the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.

Woods, whose jump to No. 50 got him into the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational this week, is now planning to play in five of the next six tournaments, including next week's PGA Championship in St. Louis.

"When I go to tournaments, it's about myself now, how I perform and try to play my best", said Kiradech. "It's pretty unbelievable the career he has at this golf course alone, let alone his entire career".

Tiger Woods prepared his season schedule under the assumption he would be involved in this weekend's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

That includes his victory in 2013 ― his most recent win anywhere.

After missing just one fairway on the back nine, Woods missed three more in succession after making the turn, but scrambled for par on each occasion and then holed from 15 feet for birdie on the fifth.

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Asked about playing in the Ryder Cup the following week, Woods said he'd have no problem playing two matches in a day if asked.

The only downside to having a stacked field is that it makes picking players that I think will win, extremely hard.

"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.

"But as far as the future of this event, I know it has to move and it has to go forward and off to Memphis, but it's one of the reasons why I tried so hard to get in this event, is because it does mean something special to me".

But Woods - an 18-time victor of WGC events - is not concerned by the additional physical rigours of playing more competitive golf as he continues his encouraging comeback from back surgery. "I played myself into a great position ..." Lahiri is trying to get back to top-50, while Sharma is trying to gain a PGA Tour card. "But I also had to play well to do it".

Fellow past champion Rory McIlroy, who like Woods was T-6 at the Open Championship two weeks ago, has one win and three runners-up finishes this year. But then again, I have to manage this as quite a bit of golf I'm going to ask my body to go through at tournament speed for basically the next nearly two months.

Having played only four tournaments in 29 months because of four back surgeries, Woods returned in December at No. 1,199 in the world.

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