Woods makes PGA Tour return official

Tiger Woods will return to action next week after his place at the Safeway Open was confirmed.

Out of action since August 2015 because of back problems and subsequent surgeries, the 14-time major champion made it official on Friday when he committed to play in the 2016-17 PGA Tour opener in Napa.

Woods has been limited to 11 starts since the beginning of the 2014-15 season, and did not play on Tour at all in the 2015-16 season.

The former world number one said last month he "hoped" to play at the Safeway Open, but stopped short of saying definitively that he would. 

"My rehabilitation is to the point where I'm comfortable making plans, but I still have work to do," Woods said on his website. "Whether I can play depends on my continued progress and recovery. My hope is to have my game ready to go.

"It was difficult missing tournaments that are important to me, but this time I was smart about my recovery and didn't rush it."

Woods withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open in February 2015 and was sidelined until The Masters in April.

His lone top-10 finish that season came in his last start, at the Wyndham Championship in August last year, where he held a share of the 36-hole lead before ultimately finishing tied for 10th.

Shortly after, Woods underwent microdiscectomy surgery and then had a follow-up procedure in October 2015, his third surgery in 20 months.

He served as a vice-captain for the victorious United States Ryder Cup team last week at Hazeltine National.

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