Eight-time champion Woods among strong field for WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Woods made it back-to-back victories in 2000

He's appeared in 14 Bridgestone Invitationals and won eight times for total earnings of more than $10.8 million. His only hope was to move into the top 50 in the world after the British Open, or to win a tournament.

The last of his 79 PGA Tour victories came at this tournament in 2013, but a year later he was limping off the course during the final round due to back issues that surfaced following a first surgery in March of that year. Those two results suggest he could spring a surprise although a midfield finish would be a creditable outcome. Check out the odds below and visit SportsLine now to see the full WGC-Bridgestone Invitational projected leaderboard from the model that has nailed four of the past seven majors heading into the weekend and called Dustin Johnson's RBC win, and find out. Just like we saw at Carnoustie a few weeks ago, the tee sheet is littered with awesome pairings throughout the day, which to me is far superior than having all your star power packed tightly into super groups. 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. "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".

"My game's gotten better and good enough where I feel like I can win again out here on Tour", he said.

Tiger loves this golf course and has been playing great as of late, but the only concern I have with picking Tiger is that he's going to have to hit his driver well. He won at Firestone two years ago and, like Woods, calls it one of his favorite stops of the year because it is big, tree-lined and doesn't have many frills.

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

Cape Town - Francesco Molinari celebrated his Open Championship victory by sharing the Claret Jug with those who he says believed he was capable of becoming a Major champion long before he did. McIlroy has eight consecutive rounds in the 60s. "And I don't think anyone could, to be honest". "There are just courses that fit your eye better than some others", McIlroy said.

"It certainly wasn't easy to get back in this event", said Woods, who is still gunning to make Jim Furyk's US Ryder Cup team on merit despite the fact that he's already a vice-captain. He hasn't been eligible since then. Not only is he playing, Woods has shown flashes of the Tiger of old. He wound up three shots behind, with the only consolation being a spot at Firestone.

"You know he's going to play well this week", reigning FedExCup champion Justin Thomas said. "So he's going to be very, very comfortable here".

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