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Rose pulls out of WGC-Bridgestone

Rose pulls out of WGC-Bridgestone

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - This is one farewell party Tiger Woods didn't want to miss.

It is the first time since the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March that Woods has been closer than a tie for 29th after the first round - a span of eight tournaments.

"It's always been one of my favorite golf courses on the entire Tour", Woods said.

This event is nearly always loaded up with superstars playing a nondescript course that nearly always delivers a big name champion.

Woods, who qualified at the last minute for this week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational by moving into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, is looking at playing five of the next six tournaments, including the PGA Championship next week in St. Louis.

"I felt I brought some of the stuff from the range onto the golf course and just have to work on it as the week goes on".

"It's nice to shoot rounds like I did at The Open and like I did today, put together rounds where I may not feel the best but I'm able to post a score, " said Woods, who won his 79th and last PGA Tour title here five years ago.

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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.

"I've always been a fan of this golf course ever since I first played here in 1997".

"But as far as the future of this event, I know it has to move and it has to go forward and off to Memphis, but 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".

Kiradech Aphibarnrat plays a shot at the British Open at Carnoustie. 3, but at No. 20 in the US team standings, Woods is unlikely to nab one of the top eight spots on points, which are determeined following the PGA Championship. Both McIlroy and Woods can be lethal at this course.

In a season that also included a victory on the European Tour s BMW Championship, Molinari has risen to a career-high sixth in the world - and reassessed his own abilities. That part I was very positive about but I made a couple of mistakes there at 11 and 12 that ended up costing me the chance of winning the tournament.

With his first opening round in red numbers in 13 starts this season, Woods flirted with his first unblemished card since 2015.

Woods is a long shot to make the team on points, which will be decided after next week's PGA. Not only is he playing, Woods has shown flashes of the Tiger of old.