Mickelson to return at Bridgestone

Phil Mickelson of the US and his caddie Jim Mackay discuss a shot during the final round of the U.S. Open.

Phil Mickelson of the US and his caddie Jim Mackay discuss a shot during the final round of the U.S. Open.

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AKRON, Ohio – Phil Mickelson will return to the PGA Tour at the Bridgestone Invitational next week, his first tournament since he tied for second at the U.S. Open.

Mickelson has been away for nearly two months because his wife, Amy, has breast cancer. She had surgery July 1. At about that time, Mickelson learned his mother has breast cancer and is being treated.

Mickelson’s decision was announced Tuesday by tournament organizers and suggests he also will play the following week in the PGA Championship at Hazeltine. Bridgestone is the third of the four World Golf Championship events of 2009.

Mickelson won the WGC’s CA Championship in March and has competed in all 10 previous Bridgestone Invitationals, with five top 10s. His best finish came in 1999 when he tied for second.

A three-time major champion, Mickelson skipped the British Open, ending the longest active streak of majors at 61. He had played in every major dating to the 1994 U.S. Open.

Tiger Woods, a six-time winner at Firestone, is expected to confirm this week that he’ll join what will likely be a strong Bridgestone field.

Nathan Green earned an automatic berth with his victory Monday in the Canadian Open. Five other players also gained a spot by solidifying their positions in the top 50 in the world rankings: England’s Ross Fisher and Luke Donald, Australia’s Robert Allenby and Mathew Goggin and Japan’s Shingo Katayama.

Stewart Cink, who won Bridgestone in 2004, captured the British Open two weeks ago at Turnberry and is also entered.

The Bridgestone field currently has 83 players, primarily winners in 2009 from tours around the world or players who have competed on international teams the past two years.

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