Tiger Shooting for British Open Return

Tiger Woods attended the opening ceremonies of the AT&T National on Wednesday at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. Unfortunately, the defending champion in the $6.5 million invitation-only event, which benefits his Tiger Woods Foundation, won't be playing.

Woods, who's won four of the nine tournaments he's entered this year and took over the No. 1 world ranking from Rory McIlroy, exacerbated a strain to his left elbow in the U.S. Open two weeks ago at Merion, causing the injury he first suffered at the Players Championship in May - his most recent victory of the season - to force him to go on the disabled list.

"I pushed it pretty good at the Open to play it and (tried) to play through it," he told reporters at Congressional. "Made it worse by hitting the ball out of the rough, and eventually got (to) a point where I wasn't able to play here. We're treating it, and eventually I'll start the strengthening process, then starting hitting balls to get up to speed for the British."

The Open Championship will be played at Muirfield in Scotland July 18-21. He admitted that even though the third leg in golf's Grand Slam is still three weeks away, he's not sure at this point he'll be 100 percent by then. "How about . . . good enough," Woods responded when asked what condition he'll be in by then.

He's been treating the injury with rest, electrical stimulation, ice, soft-tissue treatment and anti-inflammatory drugs to help minimize the swelling. "Eventually, as I said, I'll start the strengthening process here," he said. "Hopefully, that will be sooner than later, and then start hitting balls."

Despite not being able to defend at Congressional, Woods believes the course is all set to bring out the best from the 120 players in the limited field. "Looks like the golf course is in fantastic shape," he noted. "It's green. It's lush. It's thick. Temperature is up. It's going to present a hell of a test for the guys. I'll be watching."