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Tiger Woods will play in The Masters next week

Tiger Woods chats with the media during a

Tiger Woods chats with the media during a practice round prior to the start of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on January 27, 2015 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Scott Halleran

Tiger Woods made clear his intentions for next week's Masters tournament at Augusta with a simple statement posted to his website Friday afternoon.

"I'm playing in the Masters," he said. "It's obviously very important to me, and I want to be there.

Woods played a practice round Tuesday at Augusta National, fueling speculation that he would return to competitive golf at the first major of the year. Woods hasn't played since Feb. 5 when he withdrew after 11 holes at Torrey Pines because of back tightness.

"I've worked a lot on my game and I'm looking forward to competing," Woods said Friday. "I'm excited to get to Augusta and I appreciate everyone's support."

Woods won the first of his 14 career majors at Augusta in 1997, setting a Masters record by winning by 12 strokes (he shot 18-under par). Woods has won the Masters four times in his career, most recently in 2005. He last won a major in 2008 when he beat Rocco Mediate in a playoff at the U.S. Open.


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