Tiger commits to World Golf Championships-Bridgestone

July 29, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

AKRON, Ohio -- Tiger Woods officially committed to the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational today, marking his return to competitive golf at a venue that has been very kind to him throughout his career. Firestone Country Club's historic South Course has served as the event's host venue for 11 of the last 12 years and was the stage for all of Woods' seven victories. Woods and a field that includes Charl Schwartzel, Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke, Luke Donald, Nick Watney, K.J. Choi, Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan and Dustin Johnson will again challenge the South Course at Firestone Country Club for the season's third World Golf Championships event, Aug. 3-7.

The field will be finalized when the commitment deadline passes at 5 p.m. ET today.

Woods, who won the Bridgestone Invitational from 1999-2001, 2005-2007 and again in 2009, joins a field comprised of tournament winners from around the world and one that annually ranks as one of the strongest and deepest of the year. Joining Woods among the players already qualified are 2011 major championship winners Schwartzel (the Masters Tournament), McIlroy (U.S. Open) and Clarke (British Open). The winners of the season's first two World Golf Championships events, Donald (Accenture Match Play Championship), and current FedExCup points leader Watney (Cadillac Championship), have also qualified and will both have the opportunity to become the first player since Mickelson (Cadillac Championship/HSBC Champions) in 2009 to capture two World Golf Championships events in a single season. Mickelson is qualified for the Bridgestone Invitational via his victory in April at the Shell Houston Open.

"Tiger Woods' record here at the Bridgestone Invitational truly speaks for itself, and we're excited he has joined what is shaping up to be an incredible field," said Executive Director Donald Padgett III. "We look forward to welcoming our fans to Firestone Country Club and those from around the world through our international television partners for what promises to be a memorable and thrilling week of competition."

The Bridgestone Invitational will mark Woods' first competitive start since he withdrew from THE PLAYERS Championship in May after just nine holes with injuries to his left knee and left Achilles tendon. In five starts in 2011, not including THE PLAYERS, Woods' best result was a T4 at The Masters. In two previous starts this year in World Golf Championships events, he lost in the first round to Thomas Bjorn at the Accenture Match Play Championship and finished T10 at the Cadillac Championship.

Woods is one of four past champions already qualified for the Bridgestone Invitational along with Clarke (2003), Stewart Cink (2004) and defending champion Hunter Mahan (2010).

If not otherwise qualified, the winner of this week's Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR and Irish Open on the European Tour would have the opportunity to join Woods and the game's best in the field at the Bridgestone Invitational. Both events are expected to have an Official World Golf Ranking Strength of Field Rating of at least 115 points. In addition, any player not otherwise qualified who moves into the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking on Monday, Aug. 1, will earn a last-minute trip to Firestone.

Tickets to the Bridgestone Invitational can be purchased here or by calling 330-644-2299.