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Highlights on Off The Ball

Tiger Woods to return to PGA Tour action at Memorial Tournament

Tiger Woods will finally make his first PGA Tour appearance since the start of the COVID-19 pande...

Tiger Woods to return to PGA T...

Tiger Woods to return to PGA Tour action at Memorial Tournament

Tiger Woods will finally make his first PGA Tour appearance since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic at next week's Memorial Tournament in Dublin Ohio.

Woods announced he will play an official event for the first time since February 16th, which was the final round of the Genesis Invitational where he shot 77 and finished last among those who made the cut.

"I've missed going out and competing with the guys and can't wait to get back out there,'' Woods said.

Due to recurring back stiffness earlier in the year, Woods skipped tournaments he might otherwise have played in, such as, the WGC Mexico Championship, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship. The latter was cancelled after just one round due to the pandemic.

Since then, Woods has announced that he would have been fit to defend his Masters victory in April had it gone ahead.

The 15-time major champion also performed well during the COVID-19 fundraiser at the Medallist in May along with Phil Mickelson and Superbowl winning quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

There was speculation that Woods might have played one of the early events in the revised schedule. However, he opted to wait for the Memorial, which is the sixth tournament back.

The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village is one of the most high-profile, non-major events on the PGA Tour and Woods has triumphed there a record five times, most recently in 2012.

Last year, Woods tied for ninth at the Memorial, his only post Masters top 10 prior to knee surgery in August.

Woods will be part of a loaded field that also includes world number one Rory McIlroy, five-times major champion Phil Mickelson, 2018 Memorial champion Bryson DeChambeau and major winners Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia.

The 16-19 July tournament was originally supposed to have a limited number of spectators but earlier this week the PGA Tour scrapped plans to let fans attend due to Covid-19.

Woods has played just three tournaments in this entire calendar season: he won the Zozo Championship in October, tied for ninth at the Farmers Insurance Open and was 67th at the Genesis.

He is currently 41st in the FedEx Cup standings and 14th in the Official World Golf Ranking, as well as one win shy of a record-breaking 83 PGA Tour victories.

Woods will be subject to the tour's Health & Safety protocols. He will be "strongly encouraged'' to take a COVID-19 test this week prior to departure for Ohio.

Players will also need to take a test on-site before they are cleared to go to the course.

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Covid-19 Golf Memorial Tournament PGA Masters PGA Tour Rory McIlroy Tiger Woods