Justin Rose withdraws from WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with back injury

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Tiger Woods says anger from his British Open near-miss is fuelling his effort to end his five-year title drought with an astonishing ninth World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational victory.

Woods shot a near-bogey-free 66 Thursday in the first round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.

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.

"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. "It's pretty unbelievable the career he has at this golf course alone, let alone his entire career". He returns to Firestone this week for what is likely the final time, as the PGA Tour stalwart hosts the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational one a year ago before the tournament moves to Memphis and becomes the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Last year, Hideki Matsuyama captured his fifth PGA Tour win here last year, climbing to third in the world.

But the 42-year-old has recorded four top-10 finishes in 12 events this season and had several chances to win, most recently in the Open Championship at Carnoustie where he led by a shot with eight holes to play.

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"My training schedule, how to build myself, my recovery breaks even had to factor in how much I can practice, just to make sure I'm physically fit enough to get through this section".

"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. I've always played great here. It's taken a long time for them to keep telling me and to help me achieve things that were shown to myself that I was that kind of player.

After feeling he should have won The Open Championship, Woods has that swagger back and the game is better for it. "I certainly can win again", Woods said. "I certainly can win again. Within a year to get to 50 its quite an accomplishment". "If you strike it well and hit lots of fairways, then you can have chances to make birdies", said Kiradech, who is now ranked 31st in the world.

"I've had to play well this year and I'm just really excited about being back here and playing the South course".

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