Tiger announces he will be back next week

Tiger Woods announced that he will play next week in the Quicken Loans National, returning to the PGA Tour after undergoing microdiscectomy surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his back on March 31.

Woods, who has not played since he tied for 25th in the WGC-Cadillac Championship earlier in March, is the host of the National, which benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation, at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. He won the tournament in 2009 and 2012.

“After a lot of therapy, I have recovered well and will be supporting my foundation next week at the Quicken Loans National,” Woods said on his Facebook page. “I’ve just started to hit full shots, but it’s time to take the next step.”

“I will be a bit rusty, but I want to play myself back into competitive shape. Excited for the challenge ahead.”

Golf Digest and the Golf Channel reported earlier in the week that Woods had been seen hitting full shots at his home course, Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla.

Until then, Woods had been limited to chipping and putting by his doctors.

Woods, who has been No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings 11 times for a record total of 638 weeks, has fallen to No. 4 in his absence.

There had been reports that Woods was hoping to return in time to play the in 143rd Open Championship next month at Royal Liverpool, where he won in 2006.

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