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Woods sets US Masters target

Thursday, March 08, 2018

TIGER Woods will continue his preparation for the US Masters when he makes his Valspar Championship debut this week in Palm Harbor, Florida, as part of an impressive field that includes world number four Jordan Spieth.

Among the other high-profile names competing at Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead Course, which boasts narrow fairways, tough greens and the infamous "Snake Pit", are four-times major winner Rory McIlroy, Masters champion Sergio Garcia and world number five Justin Rose.

For Woods, who returned to competition this year following spinal fusion surgery last April and is seemingly pain free and surprising many with his level of play, the event will mark his fourth PGA Tour start of the year.

The 14-times major champion, whose 12th-place finish at the Honda Classic two weeks ago was his most promising result since 2015, now returns after a week off hoping to gain more momentum ahead of the April 5-8 Masters at Augusta National, where he is a four-times winner.

Woods will tee off in tomorrow's opening round alongside Spieth and Swedish world number 14 Henrik Stenson.

While Spieth, Rose, Garcia and McIlroy are among the top draws in this week's field, none have triumphed on the PGA Tour this year. And with only a handful of tournaments left before the Masters each would surely enjoy a timely boost of momentum before the year's first major.

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