Tiger Woods takes aim At Bridgestone Invitational one final time
AKRON, OH (WOIO) - Hard to believe, but this week may mark the final time Tiger Woods walks along the fairways of Firestone Country Club.
With the World Golf Championship heading to Memphis next year, and the Senior Players Championship taking its place here, Tiger and the rest of the under-50 crowd is moving on. But he's leaving behind quite a local legacy.
Eight wins. That's how many he's racked up on this course over the years. 8. Of course he'll miss it.
"I've always been a fan of this golf course ever since I first played here in '97", Woods said on Wednesday. "I've always enjoyed it. I remember playing here before it was even the World Golf Championships, the World Series of Golf. So it's always been one of my favorite golf courses on the entire Tour and it's unfortunate that it is leaving. The people have always come out and supported this event. This has been one of the very few tournaments that is kind of a small-town atmosphere."
And he electrified that atmosphere with so many memorable moments. Including the shot in the dark.
That was back in 2000, when he relied more on sound than on sight to crush his approach shot to 18. With photographers' flashes illuminating the night, Woods put the shot within a few feet of the cup. Incredible.
There was the shot over the clubhouse in 2006.
His second-round score of 61, just two off the PGA record, in 2013.
Which moment does he appreciate most?
"You know, there isn't just one", Woods said. "I mean, I've done it so many different ways. I think the best I've played was probably that year in 2000. I really played well that year and I shot 21-under, I believe it was. Yeah, I remember Hal and I just running to try to get it in to make sure we don't have to come back here on Monday for one hole. I already had a significant lead at the time, and to be able to stuff it in the dark was something special.
He's battled back from multiple back surgeries to crack the top 50 and play here one more time. Can he conquer the course and win the Gary Player Cup one more time?
"I don't know. I just got here, you know, so I'm going to go out and play a practice round today. I'll play nine holes. I'll do a little bit of work here on the short game area to get used to the speeds. I hadn't putted on greens this fast in a few weeks, so do a little work there and go take a look at the golf course and make sure I'm ready by 10:20 tomorrow."
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