Woods to return to PGA Tour action next week

MIAMI,  (Reuters) – Tiger Woods, who has missed the  last two majors because of leg injuries, will return to  competition at next week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in  Akron, Ohio, the former world number one said yesterday. A seven-times winner of the event at Firestone Country Club,  Woods has not played tournament golf since he pulled out of the  Players Championship in May after completing just nine holes.

“I’m excited to get back out there,” the 35-year-old  American said on his official website (http://web.tigerwoods.com/index).

He posted on his Twitter account: “Feeling fit and ready to  tee it up at Firestone next week. Excited to get back out  there!”

While enjoying remarkable success in 11 appearances at  Firestone, Woods tied for 78th last year, the first time he had  ever finished outside the top four at the elite WGC event.

However, he will have to shake off plenty of rust when he  tees off in next Thursday’s opening round. According to his  website, he has only recently resumed hitting practice balls —  on the advice of his doctors.

Woods, a 14-times major champion, hurt his left knee  ligaments and Achilles tendon during the Masters in April and  has not competed since he withdrew from the Players Championship  at Sawgrass on May 12.  He later said he made a mistake in deciding to play that  tournament five weeks after hurting himself at the Masters,  adding that if he had not competed there he would have been fit  enough for the next two majors.

    MAJOR MISSES

Woods, who has not won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open nor  any tournament worldwide since 2009, ended up pulling out of the  June 16-19 U.S. Open at Congressional and the July 14-17 British  Open at Royal St. George’s.

“I learned my lesson at the Players,” Woods said last month.  “I’ll come back when I’m 100 percent. I don’t know when that  will be. But I’m getting stronger and more explosive.”

Woods has recovered from four knee surgeries over the years.  This time, he did not have to go under the knife.

“We’re in the gym every day, most of the time two times,  sometimes three times a day, and it’s the whole chain,” he said.  “It’s not just the leg, it’s the whole body. Got to keep  everything going.

“We’re testing it every day to see what it feels like …  and push it as far as the leg will go. And each day it’s gotten  better. We haven’t had any setbacks, which has been good.”

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