Woods has sights on 9th title at 'special' Firestone event

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Matt Fitzpatrick shot a 73 followed by three 71s on his debut at the par-70 Firestone CC previous year so will hope to improve those numbers when he returns this week to contest his second WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. "I've done it so many different ways".

Woods carded three birdies on his first nine - he started his round on the 10th hole - and birdied the two par 3s on his final nine. Woods was in contention until a disastrous back-nine stretch at the British Open two weeks ago and Thursday's round is his third-straight opening round of par or better since he missed the cut at the U.S. Open in June.

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. But before I become too emotional, let's jump into the course.

Now, area golfers will be able to attend another major championship within a reasonable drive and forge their own set of memories.

"I am surprised he hasn t mentioned that yet - which is nice", quipped Thomas, who will play alongside five-time major victor Phil Mickelson in the first two rounds, when Woods tees it up with Australian Jason Day.

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The only downside to having a stacked field is that it makes picking players that I think will win, extremely hard. He also spoke to the media earlier this week stating that he's been working so hard to get back into shape so he could play and compete, at the Bridgestone Invitational.

"Well, I've always been a fan of this golf course ever since I first played here in '97 so I've always enjoyed it", he said. "I certainly can win again". But I also want to play well and win tournaments through this.

"Hopefully it firms up a little bit for the rest of the week but it was a day where you needed to take advantage of the conditions and I felt like I did that pretty well". He has not been eligible for a WGC until he slipped into the top 50 in the world with his tie for sixth two weeks ago at The Open. 3, but at No. 20 in the USA team standings, Woods is unlikely to nab one of the top eight spots on points, which are determeined following the PGA Championship.

While the tournament will likely be remembered for the seemingly never-ending rain, I was fortunate enough to dodge the storms for Friday's second round and follow Jason Day as he birdied seven of the eight holes between No. 8 and 15.

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