Woods returns to Firestone after 3-month break

By DOUG FERGUSON | August 2, 2011 | 10:00 AM EDT

Tiger Woods watches his putt on the ninth green during practice for the Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Tiger Woods is back on a PGA Tour golf course for the first time in nearly three months after an injury layoff.

Woods returns this week at the Bridgestone Invitational, and he wasted little time on Tuesday at Firestone. He was on the practice range just as the sun was starting to rise, playing nine holes accompanied by swing coach Sean Foley.

On the bag is Bryon Bell, his childhood friend. Woods announced two weeks ago that he had fired Steve Williams, his caddie of 12 years.

Woods last played on May 12 when he withdrew from The Players Championship after nine holes because of recurring injuries to his left leg. He vowed not to return until he was fully healthy, and he walked without a limp during practice.