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VIA: USA Today

Tiger Woods announced Tuesday that he will begin his 2010 season at the April 8-11 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.

Here is his statement:

“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. 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.”

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem also released a statement welcoming Tiger back to the Tour:

“We were pleased to learn that Tiger Woods will be playing The Masters in a few weeks,” Finchem said. “He has invested a lot of time taking steps, both in his personal and professional life, in order to prepare for his return. We all wish him and his family the best as he rejoins the Tour.”

Woods should be comfortable on one of his favorite golf courses. He has won The Masters four times, his first being his record-shattering, cultural shifting win in 1997 when he became the first African-American to win a green jacket and the first to win a major championship. He also won green jackets in 2001, 2002 and 2005. In the past four years, he finished in a tie for third in 2006, in a tie for second in 2007, second in 2008, and in a tie for sixth last year.

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