Woods has plenty on the line at Quicken Loans

(Reuters) – Tiger Woods will compete at this week’s Quicken Loans National in Maryland with one eye focused on getting closer to qualifying for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to be played at his personal stomping ground.

FILE PHOTO: Jun 15, 2018; Southampton, NY, USA; Tiger Woods tees off the second hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Shinnecock Hills GC – Shinnecock Hills Golf C. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The 42-year-old former world number one has plenty of work ahead to qualify for the World Golf Championships event, which will be held for the final time at Firestone Country Club on Aug. 2-5 before it moves to Memphis in 2019.

“I would like to get in there one more time,” Woods, an eight-times winner at Firestone, said on Wednesday.

“I know the Senior Tour’s going there, or PGA Tour Champions is going there, so eight more years from now I’ll be able to get a start and I don’t want to wait that long.”

Woods is scheduled to tee off in Thursday’s opening round at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm at 1:20 p.m. ET (1720 GMT) alongside Australian Marc Leishman and Bill Haas.

The field at the WGC-Bridgestone is comprised of the world’s top 50 players as of July 23, the day after the British Open at Carnoustie. Woods is currently ranked 82nd.

For Woods, making his first start since missing the cut at the U.S. Open, a win this week over a field that includes just one top-10 player would get him inside that number.

He will have another chance, albeit a much tougher one, to make a move up the rankings at the July 19-22 British Open but that would likely be his final shot as he is not keen to add more events to his schedule.

“I don’t want to play too much, but I need to play enough,” said Woods, who returned in January from a lengthy layoff after spinal fusion surgery in 2017.

“I’ve got a game now that can play, so it’s a matter of pacing myself through here, the Open, maybe Bridgestone, and then you’ve got the PGA and the playoffs are right there with the Ryder Cup on the back side, so that’s a lot of golf coming up in the future.”

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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