Woods says returning to golf in April

Updated: 2010-03-17 00:56
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MIAMI - World No. 1 golfer Tiger Woods, who withdrew from the game late last year after a damaging adultery scandal, announced on Tuesday he would make his comeback to professional golf at the U.S. Masters in early April.

Woods says returning to golf in April
U.S. team member Tiger Woods watches play as he stands on the sixth hole during his foursome match at the Presidents Cup golf tournament at Harding Park golf course in San Francisco, California, in this October 8, 2009 file photo. Woods, who had withdrawn from the game after details of his adulterous affairs surfaced late last year, will return to professional golf at the U.S. Masters in Augusta, Georgia in April, he said in a statement. Photo taken October 8, 2009.  [Photo/Agencies]

"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 in a statement published on his website.

The Masters at Augusta, Georgia will be held on April 5-11, and Woods has won the event four times.

"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," said Woods, who is one of the world's most recognizable and highly paid athletes.

Woods, 34, announced in December he was withdrawing from professional golf to save his marriage after revelations emerged of repeated marital infidelity. He has apologized to his family and fans but had not indicated until Tuesday when he might return to the game.

The scandal erupted after he crashed his car outside his Florida home in the middle of the night in November, a bizarre incident that triggered a storm of media speculation over his private life.

Last month Woods made a carefully managed first public appearance since his spectacular fall from grace that rocked his multimillion-dollar sponsors.

He said he was sorry for cheating on his wife and said he was undergoing therapy, but did not give details of the treatment.

He said then that he planned to return to golf "one day," possibly this year, but didn't specify when.

"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.," Woods said in his statement on Tuesday.