For those in Orlando hoping to take on eyewitness roles to Tiger Woods’ return to golf, sorry folks. It won’t be happening here.
Woods made it official today from his web site. His first competitive golf since last November will be at The Masters at Augusta National in three weeks.
Not the Tavistock Cup at Isleworth next Monday and Tuesday. Not the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill next Thursday, as many had predicted.
It will be the first major of the season at Augusta National in Georgia, site of Tiger’s first major victory.
Woods has not played competitively since the firestorm erupted from his admitted infidelities, starting the day after Thanksgiving.
Here’s the full text of his statement:
“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.
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 a while since I last played.
I have undergone almost two months of inpatient therapy and I am continuing my treatment. Although I’m returning to competition, I still have a lot of work to do in my personal life.
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. 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.”
Tiger has been seen working on his game at Isleworth where he lives. This gives him another three weeks to get ready. Can he win?
The man captured the U.S. Open two years ago while playing on one leg before leaving the game for knee surgery. It is not improbable that he will win his 15th major title at Augusta in three weeks.
The Masters seems to be the perfect place for his return. Media badges are limited, so no entertainment tabloid-type media will be allowed in the gates. And the crowds at Augusta are the most controlled and polite of any of the tour stops.