Woods has sights on ninth title at 'special' Firestone

Woods edged out Jim Furyk in a play-off to complete his hat-trick in 2001

Tiger Woods admits letting a 15th major title slip from his grasp will "sting for a while" after readjusting his expectations on his latest comeback from injury.

The sport's most popular golfer appeared to pick up right where he left off.

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.

Yeah, he's still got it. "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. 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. "It's one of the few tournaments that is kind of a small-town atmosphere", Woods said.

In fact, Woods' last professional win came at the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone.

"You can't find this golf course any easier than we had it today, " said Rory McIlroy, who shot 65.

"I've had an opportunity to win a couple times this year".

Molinari enjoyed a scheduled holiday after his victory in Scotland and he chose to keep the celebrations low key, getting used to having the Claret Jug in his possession after a busy summer, which has already seen the Italian win the European PGA Championship, The Open and the Quicken Loans National in America. The event will be a precursor to the 2024 Ryder Cup being held on the same course just east of New York City. He showed up well to finish T8 in the BMW PGA Championship, impressed when T12 in the U.S. Open at Shinnecock and shot a third-round 64 when 1T4 at the Scottish Open in mid-July.

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.

His pre-season goal to make it all the way to the season-ending TOUR Championship at East Lake next month? "You really know where your game stands when you re playing this golf course".

Three additional spots will be named by captain Jim Furyk following the Dell tournament, with the final spot scheduled to be announced after the BMW Championship, slated to be completed on September 9.

"This place is like Augusta for him". Add up the consistency over the last four weeks and the way Woods played on Thursday and you've got some strong evidence that Woods is going to win sometime soon.

"I just feel like this week is an ideal time to work on a few things [ahead of next week's US PGA Championship]. So he's going to be very, very comfortable here".

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