Woods seeks second Firestone hat-trick

Tiger Woods cannot explain why Firestone Country Club has been so good for him but five wins from eight starts means he will feel right at home when the WGC Bridgestone Invitational gets under way today in Akron.

Tiger Woods cannot explain why Firestone Country Club has been so good for him but five wins from eight starts means he will feel right at home when the WGC Bridgestone Invitational gets under way today in Akron.

Woods tees off in search of a second hat-trick of victories having won from 1999-2001 as well as the last two years.

The world number one said: “Each and every year I’ve played this golf course it just seems to have worked out.

“I don’t know what it is about this golf course, it just looks right. For some reason I’ve had some success here.

“I’ve always felt comfortable here and if you look at my record overall over the years it’s been pretty good. I think there are basically four venues that I’ve had a lot of success at. This is one of them, Torrey Pines, Augusta and St Andrews.

“Those are places I seem to play well every time I go there. Certain golf courses just fit your eye, and it’s hard to explain, but this is one of them for me.”

“I think it’s just because I love old, traditional golf courses. We don’t get a chance to play these types of venues any more. There are certain venues that I think all the players thoroughly enjoy playing, and this is one of them.

“It’s a tree-lined golf course. There are no elephant burial grounds out there, it’s right there in front of you, and you just have to go play.

“This golf course, its only defence really is the weather. If it’s soft, the guys are going to go low. But if it’s firm like it is now, then I think the guys are going to have a hard time making birdies.”

Woods also believes the elite nature of the field, reduced this week to 84 players, makes the tournament more enjoyable.

“You always get pretty excited when you play with the best players in the world, and I’ve had success in major championships, I’ve had success here in the World Golf Championships,” the 31-year-old added.

Woods will play the first two rounds with fellow American Brett Wetterich and Argentina’s Andres Romero, who followed up his third place at the Open at Carnoustie with a maiden European Tour title on Sunday at the Deutsche Bank Players’ Championship of Europe.

“I had a third at the British, a win, now playing with Tiger,” said the 26-year-old.

“It’s great. I didn’t even have this tournament obviously on my schedule and to now be paired with the number one player in the world, it’s complicated. There’s a lot going on, and I’m just really looking forward to it.

“It’s going to be exciting, difficult at the same time. I admire his game a lot, so to have him in the same group the first two days is something I’m looking forward to. I just hope I don’t get caught up watching Tiger and stick to my game.”

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