Tiger Woods: ‘I’m Playing in the Masters’

Tiger Woods Firestone AP

“I’m playing in the Masters,” Tiger Woods stated on his official website Friday afternoon. “It’s obviously very important to me, and I want to be there.”

The 2015 Masters tournament, held at Augusta National in Georgia, kicks off on Thursday.

The announcement brings welcome news to CBS and ESPN covering the tournament, as well as sports writers and millions of golf fans around the world. Tiger has not played in the Masters since 2013, when he placed fourth, four strokes back of Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera. Australian Adam Scott eventually defeated the Argentinean in a two-hole, sudden-death playoff in the 77th Masters tournament.

Woods dominated golf for over a decade, ranking number 1 in the world for most of that time. In 2009 the golf icon shocked the world after revelations surfaced of sexual dalliances he had while married to former model Elin Nordegren. The relationship ended in divorce and sponsors dropped Woods faster than a downhill chip rolling off the bank into Rae’s Creek.

Last week, Tiger’s world standing plummeted to #104, representing his worst ranking since his rookie season in 1996.

The legendary golfer has not won the Masters since 2005 and has not won a major since the U.S. Open in 2008. Only Jack Nicklaus has won more majors than Tiger, who has 14 victories. The Golden Bear won 18 majors. Overcoming Nicklaus was once thought of as a sure thing, but Tiger’s Major-win drought over the last seven years leaves many critics skeptical if he will ever win another.

Yet, Woods can’t be totally counted out at Augusta based on his previous four wins there and his seven other top-five finishes. However, odds are highly stacked against him given that he has only played 47 holes this year—36  were at the Phoenix Open where he missed the cut and the other 11 holes at the Farmers at Torrey Pines, where he withdrew due to a bizarre deactivated glutes condition.