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WGC-Bridgestone Invitational tee times, pairings: When Tiger Woods starts Round 2

05 August, 2018, 17:17 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Tiger Woods lifted the Gary Player Cup for the first time in 1999

Woods, an eight-time victor at Firestone, took the advantage at the hard par-4 18th hole (his ninth) when he drained a 50-foot monster birdie putt to climb to three-under-par and three shots back of Stanley. Last year, Hideki Matsuyama captured his fifth PGA Tour win here last year, climbing to third in the world. Those two results suggest he could spring a surprise although a midfield finish would be a creditable outcome.

McIlroy, who is joined in Akron by debutant Paul Dunne, has had one win and four top-10s in seven starts at Firestone and believes the event is ideal preparation for next week's final Major of the season. He became the face of this tournament over the last two decades, even through some rough patches when he was coping with scars on and off the golf course. "But it also got me into this event". 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.

That year he was also tied 4th at the Masters and tied 6th at the Open.

"I went from just hoping to being able to play on tour to now I feel like I can play on tour and can certainly win again", Woods said of his season progress and ramped-up schedule.

They will follow the group that includes defending champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan and 2014 victor Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland.

"I'm starting to drive the ball really well and there are a few tee shots out here if you can carry it over 300 yards it's a big advantage on the rest of the field. There are just courses that fit your eye better than some others", McIlroy said. "Tiger has proved that here, with Bay Hill, with Torrey Pines, with well, actually, anywhere".

Wood's path back to Firestone wasn't easy, and on multiple occasions, it appeared unlikely. He hasn't been eligible since then.

Tiger Woods is out to prove his strong showing at golf's last major was no aberration. He wound up three shots behind, with the only consolation being a spot at Firestone.

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

"This place is like Augusta for him. But just the way I made a couple of mistakes there at 11 and 12 ended up costing me the tournament".

And it was the seventh time he shot 66 or better in the opening round of this tournament; he won five of the previous six times. "So he's going to be very, very comfortable here".

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