Yes, Virginia, Tiger Woods is playing the Masters
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Yes, Virginia, Tiger Woods is playing the Masters

Tiger Woods will play in the 2015 Masters.

"I'm playing in the Masters," Woods said Friday on his website. "It's obviously very important to me, and I want to be there.

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

Woods made the announcement after playing his second practice round of the week at Augusta National on Friday. On Tuesday, Woods shot a reported 2-over 74 -- a round that included five birdies and several "indifferent" chip shots, according to Golfweek.

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The four-time Masters winner did not indicate what influence either practice round may have had in his decision.

Woods hasn't played competitively since Feb. 5, when he withdrew after 11 holes in Round 1 of the Farmers Insurance Open. He was 2 over when he withdrew, citing back pain. On Feb. 11, Woods announced on his website he would not play competitive golf again until his game was "tournament ready." Woods skipped The Honda Classic in his hometown of Jupiter, Fla., didn't qualify for the WGC-Cadillac Championship and did not play in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, a tournament he has won eight times.

Rumors of an imminent Woods return took shape last week, with friend Notah Begay III telling 120 Sports his friend was "50-50" to play in the Masters -- up from a 1-in-10 shot when Woods announced his hiatus. Golf World reported Woods had been shooting good scores at his home club, Medalist, in Florida, and that he was working there with caddie Joe LaCava.

Woods hasn't won the Masters since a 2005 playoff victory over Chris DiMarco. However, when Woods has been healthy, in decade since that win, he has been a contender. In his last eight Masters starts, Woods has finished outside the top six just once, when he finished T-40 in 2012.

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