The Tiger Woods leave of absence from the PGA Tour will end just in time for the season's first major.
The 14-time major champion -- a four-time Masters winner -- has announced that he will return from his self-imposed break from golf and avoid missing the Masters for the second straight year.
I'm playing in the Masters. Thanks for all the support. http://t.co/SYih4eSxUa— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 3, 2015
Here is the brief statement Woods had on www.tigerwoods.com:
"I'm playing in the Masters," Tiger said Friday afternoon. "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."
Speculation that Woods would return to golf for the Masters grew on March 31 when his agent, Mark Steinberg, confirmed that Woods played 18 holes at Augusta National that day.
Woods released a statement on Feb. 11 to say he was stepping away from the game, stating his play was "not acceptable" to compete in tournaments just days after withdrawing from the Farmer Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
At the time, Woods said he would only return when he felt ready to compete.
Woods has not finished in the top 10 of a PGA Tour event since a tie for second at the Barclays in August of 2013.
He missed most of the 2013-14 season -- just seven starts total -- while recovering from back surgery.
In two starts this season, Woods missed the cut by 12 shots in the Waste Management Phoenix Open before the withdrawal at Torrey Pines.
That said, Augusta National has always seemed to be a comfortable place for Woods. In 17 starts there as a professional, Woods has finished in the top 10 an astounding 13 times, including the four victories. He has never missed the cut at the Masters as a professional.
Woods -- chasing the Jack Nicklaus record of 18 major championship wins -- has been stuck on 14 victories since his win at the 2008 U.S. Open. Woods last won the Masters in 2005.