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Woods set to play at Firestone

In good position: Brittany Lincicome tees off on the fifth hole at the Women’s British Open. She picked up her game on the 12th hole and finished with 67.

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In good position: Brittany Lincicome tees off on the fifth hole at the Women’s British Open. She picked up her game on the 12th hole and finished with 67.

JACKSONVILLE — Tiger Woods finally gets back to golf next week at the Bridgestone Invitational, ending an 11-week break to heal injuries to his left leg.

Woods used his website to announce his return. He posted on his Twitter account Thursday that he's "feeling fit and ready to tee it up at Firestone next week. Excited to get back out there!"

It marks the third-longest layoff of his career, only this time Woods returns with as much uncertainty about his future as ever. Along with questions about the strength of his left knee and Achilles, he embarks on his latest comeback with a new caddie, and without guarantees Woods will be eligible for more than two weeks.

Woods last week fired Steve Williams, who caddied for Adam Scott at the U.S. Open, then angered his boss by working for the Australian again at the AT&T National without seeking permission.

The Golf Channel reported Bryon Bell, a childhood friend and president of Tiger Woods Design, would caddie for him at the Bridgestone Invitational. Bell has caddied for Woods three times — a win at the 1999 Buick Invitational, a tie for second at the Buick and a tie for second in 2003 at the Disney Classic.

Woods last played May 12 at The Players Championship, when he withdrew after going 6 over on the front nine because of pain in his left leg.

Lincicome two off lead at British Open

Meena Lee overcame wet conditions to shoot 7-under 65 for a two-shot lead after the first round of the Women's British Open.

The South Korean had seven birdies and no bogeys playing mainly in a heavy afternoon downpour in Carnoustie, Scotland.

"I like links golf. It's very different to what we play on the LPGA Tour and I really enjoyed it today, despite the weather," Lee said.

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome, who started her round in good conditions early in the morning, set the early pace with 67. Among a group at 68 were Angela Stanford, Amy Yang, Caroline Masson and Sofie Gustafson.

Twice a winner on the LPGA Tour in her first two seasons after turning professional in 2005, Lee is making her second visit to Scotland, having played in the British Open at St. Andrews in 2007.

Lincicome made her charge starting at the 12th, where she made a 15-foot birdie putt. She hit a 7-iron to 7 feet at the 13th and holed the putt. Lincicome hit a huge drive on the 14th — "must have been 300 yards," she said — and then a 6-iron to 10 feet and holed that for eagle. She also birdied the long 17th.

"I played really well," she said. "I didn't take advantage of some chances on the front nine but then really got going from the 12th. This is a great golf course and it seems to suit my game really well so I'm looking forward to the next three days."

Paula Creamer had two eagles and finished with 69, along with seven others. Morgan Pressel and three-time winner Karrie Webb shot 70s, one better than defending champion Yani Tseng.

PGA: Trevor Immelman's best round of the year reinforced the former Masters champion's belief that he can regain his top form less than two years after wrist surgery.

The South African shot 6-under 64 to take the first-round lead by a stroke over five others at the Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

"I hope I'm close," he said. "You never know with this game. It's been a frustrating couple of years not being able to swing the way I want to swing and practice the way I want to practice."

Shooting 65s were Gary Woodland, Billy Mayfair, Derek Lamely, Webb Simpson and Steven Bowditch.

Immelman, who failed to advance to weekend play in the 2010 tournament, carded seven birdies and bogey. Although erratic off the tee, his iron play was solid. He missed one green in regulation and five of his birdies came from less than 11 feet.

Champions: Olin Browne has circled the globe playing professional golf the past 27 years. He knows it takes a lot more than 18 holes and a lucky shot to win a major championship.

"Are you ready to give me the trophy today?" he asked an observer who wondered why he was so nonchalant about leading the U.S. Senior Open by two shots. "That's why."

Browne eagled two holes in a five-hole span coming down the stretch and finished 7-under 64 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.

Two strokes back were Mark O'Meara and Michael Allen, who each shot bogey-free 66s.

Woods set to play at Firestone 07/28/11 [Last modified: Thursday, July 28, 2011 11:48pm]
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