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Tiger Woods: Why Return at Bridgestone and Not at British Open?

AKRON, OH - AUGUST 02:  Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the eighth hole during a practice round for the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club on August 2, 2011 in Akron, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
John BurkeContributor IAugust 3, 2011

All is well in the golf world again!

At least, kinda, sorta, maybe. 

Tiger Woods is back in action this weekend. In the process, Woods made the PGA Tour, its sponsors and Bridgestone very happy. 

But with Woods returning to action this week, the biggest question is why now? 

For starters, he is healthy. "Doctors gave me the clearance to go, so here I am," Woods explained in his press conference for the Bridgestone Invitational on Tuesday. 

Whether or not he is truly healthy remains to be seen. The only thing we have to go off of is his word. According to those that saw him play on Tuesday, he seemed to be hitting shots pain-free and without a limp. Both of those things are a very good sign. 

Maybe a more telling reason as to why Woods is back this week as opposed to a couple of weeks ago at the British Open came later in his press conference. 

"That's when it becomes a little more difficult is when you're itching to go and they're—you're borderline whether or not you should go or not," Woods told reporters

The fact that he waited until he was confident in his healing tells us a couple of things. 

First, it shows us that a matured Woods is making an appearance this time. Gone are the days of playing injured to win. Woods knows his best chance at beating Jack Nicklaus' Major record is to play as long as possible. To do that, he needs to be healthy. 

Second, Tiger may finally be changing his stripes. Woods is actually listening to his doctors. He has been a one-man show for so long that if he is actually changing his "stripes" it will only benefit him in the long term. 

To be entirely honest, Woods' choice to play this week or at the British Open does not mean too much for me. I'm just glad he is back.

Golf is more exciting when he is playing—there is no denying that. 

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