March 16, 2010
Today Tiger Woods announced he'll start his 2010 season at Augusta National and the Masters.
On Woods' website, he says, "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 will not play the Bay Hill Invitational, and for the first time in his career he will skip Arnold Palmer's tournament in Orlando.
We know he's been practicing recently. Earlier this month, Augusta golfer Charles Howell III spent about an hour with Tiger on the driving range. Howell said Woods looked as good as he ever has when hitting the ball.
However, Woods hasn't played a competitive round of golf since mid-November. He's been focused on rebuilding his marriage after his Thanksgiving Day SUV crash. That crash led to the revelation that Woods had been with various other women during the time he's been married to his wife Elin.
After Woods' statement, Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne said, "We support Tiger's decision to return to competitive golf beginning at this year's Masters Tournament. Additionally, we support and encourage his stated commitment to continue the significant work required to rebuild his personal and professional life."
Woods thanked Augusta National members and staff for their support in his statement.
It will have been a 144-day layoff for Woods. He missed 356 days in 2008-2009 recovering from knee surgery.