Tiger Woods will be bidding for a ninth victory in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio this week.
The 42-year-old will be playing in the tournament for the first time since 2014 – when he withdrew after three rounds due to back pain – after earning a spot thanks to his performance in The Open at Carnoustie.
Woods’ joint-sixth placed finish in the major elevated him to 50th from 71st in the world rankings, with the top 50 after The Open all qualifying for Firestone.
He has not won on the PGA Tour since winning the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but will be hoping to end that barren run and lift the Gary Player Cup once again on a course where he has finished in the top 10 12 times in 15 starts.
Here’s a look back at Woods’ eight victories…….
1999 Woods opened his account at Firestone in the inaugural tournament – then known as the WGC-NEC Invitational – with a one-shot victory over Phil Mickelson.
An eight-under 62 in the third round took him five clear of the field and a 71 in the final round proved to be just enough to hold off Mickelson’s charge with a 65 as he picked up a cheque for $1m.
2000 Woods retained the title in style with an 11-shot victory, setting a tournament-record aggregate score of 259 as he finished on 21 under.
His nine-under 61 in the second round tied Jose Maria Olazabal’s course record and he wrapped up his 11-shot success from Justin Leonard and Phillip Price with a birdie at the 18th thanks to his memorable approach shot to around two feet of the hole in the dark.
2001 Woods produced a virtual replica of that shot at the 18th as he completed the hat-trick a year later. It brought a birdie at the seventh hole of a fascinating play-off this time as he edged out Jim Furyk for the title.
Furyk held a two-shot advantage going into the final round, but Woods’ 69 proved to be enough to send the tournament into sudden death as they both finished on 12 under, three ahead of Darren Clarke.
2005 Woods was back in the winners’ circle after finishing fourth twice (2002 and 2003) and second (2004) as he claimed his 45th career victory at the age of 29.
He held a share of the lead after each of the first three rounds and prevailed by one shot from Chris DiMarco after closing with a 71 to finish on six under, a superb third shot through two trees proving crucial as he parred the 18th to secure a cheque for $1.3m.
2006 A second successive win in the event – now renamed the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational – and fourth straight victory of the season came via a play-off with Stewart Cink.
Cink led by one going into the final round but had to make up three shots over the final three holes to force sudden death in which he lost at the fourth extra hole when Woods holed an eight-footer for birdie. The pair finished on 10 under and one ahead of Furyk.
2007 Woods completed his second hat-trick with an emphatic eight-shot victory over Justin Rose and Rory Sabbatini.
South African Sabbatini had led Woods by one going into the final round, but a bogey-free 65 saw the American blow the field away on the Sunday.
2009 After missing out in 2008 following leg surgery, Woods made it four wins in four starts as he once again came from behind with a closing 65 to finish on 12 under and prevail by four shots from Padraig Harrington and Robert Allenby.
Harrington went into the final round with a three-shot cushion but the 16th hole proved decisive with a four-shot swing in favour of Woods after the Irishman sent a flop shot into the lake in front of the green.
2013 Woods, now 37, claimed his 18th WGC win and 79th career victory – also his most recent – as he romped to a seven-shot success over Keegan Bradley and Henrik Stenson.
He did all the damage as he fired his second 61 at Firestone in the second round to storm seven clear and he cruised home from there with rounds of 68 and 70 to finish on 15 under and claim his eighth title in the tournament. That matched the PGA Tour record for wins in an event held by Sam Snead (Greater Greensboro Open) and Woods himself (Arnold Palmer Invitational).
“I don’t know what it is about this place, it just fits my eye,” said Woods after picking up his $1.5m winner’s cheque.