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Tiger to return next week at WGC event

Tiger Woods, a 14-time major champion who has struggled with a left knee injury, will play his first competitive event in nearly three months next week at a World Golf Championships tournament.

other Updated: Jul 29, 2011 10:52 IST

Tiger Woods, a 14-time major champion who has struggled with a left knee injury, will play his first competitive event in nearly three months next week at a World Golf Championships tournament.

The former World No. 1 announced Thursday on his website that he will play at the $8.5 million WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio -- a course where he has won seven titles.

"I'm excited to get back out there," Woods said.

Woods has not played since May 12 when he withdrew from the Players Championship after nine holes after aggravating a strained left knee and left Achilles tendon injury he suffered at the Masters in April.

"Feeling fit and ready to tee it up at Firestone next week. Excited to get back out there," Woods said in a posting on his Twitter microblogging account.

Woods, who has fallen to 21st in the rankings, missed the US Open and British Open on the advice of doctors, resting and rehabilitating his left leg, and has only recently started to hit balls in practice sessions.

How well Woods fares at Akron will likely determine whether or not he competes the following week at the year's final major tournament, the PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club.

Woods has typically used the WGC event as a tuneup for the PGA Championship, a break from his routine of taking the week off before the earlier majors each year, so the event should be a solid indicator of his form.

Woods also has something to prove at Akron, having shared 78th last year in his worst 72-hole showing. That was the first time in 11 appearances at Akron that he failed to crack the top four.

So far this year, Woods has played in six events, cracking the top 10 twice, including a share of fourth at the Masters for the second year in a row.