THE Siren call of the US Masters was always going to be a tough ask for Tiger Woods to resist and the World’s No 1 golfer has officially confirmed the event will mark his return to competitive golf.
Woods announced overnight on his website he would begin his 2010 season at the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in April.
“The Masters is where I won my first major, and I view this tournament with great respect. After a long and necessary time away from the game, I feel like I’m ready to start my season at Augusta,” Woods said.
“The major championships have always been a special focus in my career and, as a professional, I think Augusta is where I need to be, even though it’s been awhile since I last played.”
Woods has not played in a tournament since winning the Australian Masters on November 15. Less than two weeks after that event he was involved in a car crash at his home that touched off a global scandal involving his private life and claims of adultery.
“I have undergone almost two months of inpatient therapy and I am continuing my treatment,” Woods said. “Although I’m returning to competition, I still have a lot of work to do in my personal life.”
In recent weeks, Woods was seen with coach Hank Haney working on his game and by fellow PGA players in practice sessions.
It has also been reported he seems to be back on good terms with wife Elin.
Woods decided against playing in a lead up event as he works to tune up for the Masters, which begins on April 8.
He has won the event four times, including his first Majors win in 1997. He now has 14 major titles, four shy of the record 18 won by Jack Nicklaus.
“When I finally got into a position to think about competitive golf again, it became apparent to me that the Masters would be the earliest I could play,” Woods said in his statement.
“I called both Joe Lewis and Arnold Palmer and expressed my regrets for not attending the Tavistock Cup and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. “I again want to thank them both for their support and their understanding. Those are fantastic tournaments, and I look forward to competing in them again.
“I would also like to thank the Augusta National members and staff for their support. I have deep appreciation for everything that they do to create a wonderful event for the benefit of the game.”