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Tiger Woods Will Play the Masters

3/16/2010 12:13 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Tiger WoodsWe knew it. We've been saying it for months ... Tiger Woods just announced he will play at the Masters next month.

Woods released a statement that said: "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.

"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.

"I have undergone almost two months of inpatient therapy and I am continuing my treatment. Although I'm returning to competition, I still have a lot of work to do in my personal life.

"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."

UPDATE: Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, tells TMZ, "We support Tiger's decision to return to competitive golf beginning at this year's Masters Tournament. Additionally, we support and encourage his stated commitment to continue the significant work required to rebuild his personal and professional life."

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