Tiger Woods confirms he will play in Masters
Four-times champion makes statement after completing a second practice round at Augusta
Tiger Woods has confirmed he will play in next week’s Masters after completing a second practice round at Augusta National on Friday. Photograph: Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images
The four-time Masters winner later released a brief statement to end speculation after he shot a 74 in a practice round on Tuesday at the famous Georgia course.
“I’m playing in the Masters,” said Woods. “It’s obviously very important to me, and I want to be there.
“I’ve worked a lot on my game and I’m looking forward to competing. I’m excited to get to Augusta and I appreciate everyone’s support.”
Woods, who has dropped to 104th in the world rankings, will return to competition for the first time since he withdrew after 11 holes of the first round in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, in San Diego, in early February. After that, he said in a statement that he was taking an indefinite spell of leave to work on the flaws in his short game, and would return when his game was tournament-ready.
Sources close to Woods revealed he carded five birdies in his 74 on Tuesday, but was also reported to have played some indifferent shots, one of which saw a chip shot run through and off the green.
Unlike regular tournaments on the US Tour, which require players to commit on the preceding Friday, there was no deadline for Woods in announcing if he was playing at the Masters or not. The player doesn’t actually have to commit until he registers ahead of his first-round tee time next Thursday. Woods, who has been plagued by injuries in recent years, won the last of his 14 Majors, the US Open at Torrey Pines, in 2008. The most recent of his four wins in the Masters came in 2005.
Woods, who missed last year’s Masters for the first time in his playing career, will tee it up for a 20th time next week. In his previous 19, he has had no fewer than 13 top-10 finishes– 11 of those being top-five– with his four victories in coming 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005.
World number one Rory McIlroy is favourite for next week’s tournament where he is seeking to complete a career Grand Slam.