- Title: USA: GOLF - Fellow golfers react to Tiger Wood's announced return to the Masters
- Date: 17th March 2010
- Summary: AUGUSTA, GEORGIA (FILE) (REUTERS) WOODS DURING PRACTICE ROUND AT THE MASTERS TOURNAMENT
- Embargoed: 1st April 2010 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVAATF1ZQ4W5P01XA10WPL75D57N
- Story Text: Some of Tiger Woods fellow golfers were pleased to learn of his return to the game on Tuesday (March 16) Woods, who left the game last year in the midst of a damaging adultery scandal, announced on Tuesday that he would make his comeback to professional golf at the U.S. Masters in early April. In Palm Harbor Florida, players were tuning up for the Transitions Championship.
"I think its great. He said he's not coming back until he's ready, until his family life's in order, until he's ready to play golf again. You know there's things that are more important than golf. As a friend of his, I think I'm a friend of his, I'm ready for him to get back. The game of golf is ready for him to get back. He's the best ever. I think it's the best venue for him to play. He knows it like the back of his hand," Bubba Watson said The return of the world's wealthiest and most marketable sports star at the April 5-11 blockbuster golf event was a relief for his sponsors, whose multi-million dollar commercial endorsements had been rocked by the scandal around him.
"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," Woods said in a statement on his website.
The 34-year-old American, whose dominance on the golf course put him in the pantheon of all-time sporting greats since he turned professional in 1996, has won the Augusta Masters four times previously.
"Well I'm happy to hear he's coming back sooner rather than later because no one knew when that was going to be. It's great. It's great for the game of golf that he's coming back to the Masters and hopefully carry on from there," Australia's Adam Scott noted.
Woods announced in December he was withdrawing from professional golf to save his marriage after revelations emerged of his repeated infidelity. He has apologized to his family and fans but had not indicated clearly until Tuesday when he might return to the game.
Woods has won 14 major titles and trails only Jack Nicklaus -- with 18 titles -- in the all-time standings. He has long targeted overhauling that benchmark set by fellow American Nicklaus, who was his golfing idol as a child.
The scandal around Woods erupted after he crashed his car outside his Florida home in the middle of the night in November, a bizarre incident that triggered a storm of media speculation over his private life. The minor accident led to a parade of alleged mistresses alleging publicly they had had affairs with the golfer.
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