Augusta lures Woods out of enforced hiatus

Tiger Woods has announced on his website that he will compete at next week's Masters.
Tiger Woods has announced on his website that he will compete at next week's Masters.
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Former world No 1 Tiger Woods has announced that he will compete at next week’s Masters in Augusta.

The 14-time major winner had been a doubt after he withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open on February 6 saying he will not return until he can “compete at the highest level”.

Woods has now confirmed he will take part.

“I’m playing in the Masters,” he said on his official website. “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 on Tuesday reportedly played 18 holes at the Augusta National Golf Club, a course where in the past he has had great success.

Woods has won the tournament four times, but the last of those was in 2005 and he failed to compete at last year’s competition because of a back injury.

Poor form and injuries have plagued the 39-year-old over the last few years, a fall from grace highlighted by the latest world rankings with the American at No 104. Woods was last outside the top 100 in September 1996 when he was ranked 225.

The low point came when he carded an 82 at the Phoenix Open in January, a round which he described as his worst as a professional.

Woods lost his No 1 ranking to Adam Scott in May last year after a 2013 which saw him suffer poor form and injuries.

The American picked up an elbow injury at the Players Championship before he finished 13 over par at the US Open and only returned from the injury for The Open. Woods was in contention all week at Muirfield and finished five shots behind winner Phil Mickelson.

Victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational two weeks later looked like it could be the catalyst to kick-start Woods’ winning habit, but he has not won since

However, Woods sustained a back injury and subsequently missed the Masters for the first time since 1994.

Sheffield’s Danny Willett was last night battling to make the cut at the Shell Houston Open on the PGA Tour. He was two over par approaching the closing holes having carded a 73 on Thursday.