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PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- Tiger Woods will make his highly anticipated return to competitive golf at the Masters.
The world's No. 1-ranked player, who has never missed the year's first major as a professional, announced in a statement Tuesday that Augusta National Golf Club will be the site of his comeback
"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.
"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."
The Masters is scheduled for April 8-11, with the first and second rounds airing on ESPN beginning at 4 p.m. ET.
Woods last played on Nov. 15, when he won the Australian Masters in Melbourne for his 82nd career victory. His world then unraveled less than two weeks later; he was involved in a one-car crash outside his Florida home that required a hospital visit and let to a series of revelations about his personal life that included a later admission of multiple affairs.
"I have undergone almost two months of inpatient therapy and I am continuing my treatment," Woods said in his statement. "Although I'm returning to competition, I still have a lot of work to do in my personal life."
Woods announced an indefinite leave from golf on Dec. 11 and made a public statement on Feb. 19, but speculation about his return has intensified in recent weeks as he began practicing again at Isleworth, near his home.
By choosing the Masters, Woods will skip next week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he has won the last two years and six times overall. He also skipping next week's Tavistock Cup, an exhibition played at Isleworth.
"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 said. "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."