How will Woods fare in return from injury?

He'll be non-contender


Orlando Sentinel

Honestly, who really knows?


There was a brief "Old Tiger" sighting at the Masters, but then it all unraveled again. Health issues, psychological issues, relationship snafus — goodbye, Steve Williams — have turned Woods into anything but a good bet to make a charge on any given weekend.

It will be a major accomplishment to finish in the top 10, but most likely Woods will be muddling about on Sunday, finishing the last round as a non-contender.

"I'm ready to go," he says.

The problem is he probably doesn't even know the direction he is headed.

Look for top-20 finish

Mark Wogenrich

Morning Call

It's curious that Tiger Woods could be considered a contender at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he'll be playing for the first time in three months. Sure, Woods has won seven times there since 1999, but isn't Firestone also the course where Woods recorded his calamitous 18-over-par total just a year ago?

Since then, Woods has played just nine stroke-play events, finishing in the top 10 only once (tied for fourth at the Masters).

Because he can't miss the cut (there isn't one), this is a fine event for Woods to get four competitive rounds in a comfortable environment. Let's say he finishes in the top 20 on his way to Atlanta for the PGA Championship.


Better than last year

Barry Stavro

Los Angeles Times

How will Tiger Woods do in this week's tournament?

Better than last year, when he was 18 over and finished 78th in the 81-player field.

Why an improvement this time?

As miserable as 2011 has been for Woods, most fans have forgotten he almost won the Masters in April — though his putter is no longer a magic wand in his hands.

Granted, Woods is rusty again. But like at the Masters, Woods is comfortable on the Firestone course — he has won the Bridgestone Invitational seven times — and this is a small field with no cut, so he'll get in four rounds.

My guess is Woods won't embarrass himself and he'll finish in the top 15.

He'll finish in top 30

Lee C. Gordon

Chicago Tribune

He says his knee is fine, but he said that last time too.

He says his swing is fine, but he hasn't played competitively in months.

He says a temporary caddie is fine, but how can a new man on the bag not be an issue?

He says his mental health is fine, but how happy can he be as things around him continue to trend downward?

But "he" is Tiger Woods, and his fans always expect great things. After so many storybook rounds, it's easy to think Tiger can just turn his game around. But unless Woods can find the putting magic he once possessed, it looks like his next win will come on the Champions Tour.

His detractors expect nothing from him this weekend. I expect him to play under par and finish in the top 30.

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