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Mar 16, 2010 12:09 PM by Letitia Walker

Tiger Woods to Return

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) - Tiger Woods said Tuesday he will return

to golf next month at the Masters, ending a four-month hiatus

brought on by a sex scandal that shattered his image as the gold

standard in sports.

"The Masters is where I won my first major and I view this

tournament with great respect," Woods said in a statement. "After

a long and necessary time away from the game, I feel like I'm ready

to start my season at Augusta."

Woods has not competed since Nov. 15 when he won the Australian

Masters for his 82nd victory worldwide. Twelve days later, he

crashed his car into a tree outside his Florida home, setting off

shocking revelations that he had been cheating on his wife.

The Associated Press first reported his plans to return at

Augusta National last Thursday.

"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," Woods

said.

"I have undergone almost two months of inpatient therapy and I

am continuing my treatment," he said. "Although I'm returning to

competition, I still have a lot of work to do in my personal

life."

There had been reports he would play the Tavistock Cup

exhibition next week in Orlando, followed by the Arnold Palmer

Invitational at Bay Hill, where he is the defending champion and a

six-time winner.

"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.

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