Woods out early, ready to meet media in Akron


AKRON, Ohio - Tiger Woods will only play nine holes on Tuesday at Firestone, part of a plan to ease him back into the competitive fray slowly.

Woods teed off just before 7 a.m. ET on Tuesday at Firestone, his first PGA Tour sighting since he withdrew nine holes into May's Players Championship.

Playing alone and accompanied by new caddie Bryon Bell and swing coach Sean Foley, Tiger missed his first two fairways left but didn't appear hampered by the left knee and Achilles tendon injury that sidelined him for much of this season.

Woods, who began hitting balls last week in south Florida, played 18 holes on Monday at Atlanta Athletic Club, site of next week's PGA Championship.

He is scheduled to talk with the media at 10 a.m.