He’s Baaaack: Tiger to Play Next Week’s Bridgestone Invitational (*Update)
By Stephanie Wei under Tiger Woods

I'm back, bitches (at least I'm trying to play again)

Tiger Woods announced via Twitter that he’s returning to competition at next week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational:

“Feeling fit and ready to tee it up at Firestone next week. Excited to get back out there!”

Whoa, I’m a little surprised by this Thursday evening announcement — you know, he usually waits ’til closer to the 5pm ET Friday deadline! I can’t say I’m disappointed to hear the news!

More from his website:

“I’m excited to get back out there,” said Woods, who has been idle since withdrawing from The PLAYERS Championship after nine holes on May 12 after sustaining a mild medial collateral ligament strain to his left knee and aggravating a strained left Achilles tendon.

Both injuries were originally occurred during the third round of the Masters, when Woods hit a recovery shot out of pine straw on the 17th hole. He went on to shoot 74, but followed with a 67 on Sunday and tied for fourth.

Following the advice of his doctors, Woods has rested and rehabbed his left leg, and just recently began hitting practice balls.

Tiger has won the WGC event at Firestone seven times, but struggled terribly last year when he shot 18-over for the tournament.

Sources are reporting that childhood friend and enabler Bryon Bell will loop for Tiger next week.

Now several questions remain unanswered: 1) When did he start hitting balls again? 2) Has he played and walked a round of golf yet? 3) Assuming Bell is just filling in temporarily, who will Tiger pick as a permanent replacement for Stevie? 4) Swing coach Sean Foley said earlier this week he hadn’t worked with Tiger and had no idea about his plans — was he bluffing? (He’s smart, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he was playing dumb.)

*Update, 7/28 9pm: Foley hasn’t seen Tiger hit balls yet this week, but says via text, “I will see Tiger tomorrow (Friday).”