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Feeling rusty but ready to play again, Tiger Woods said Friday he would return to competition next week at Congressional in the Quicken Loans National in Bethesda, Md.

Woods last played on March 9 at Doral, where he dealt with pain in his lower back and closed with a 78 for his highest final-round score on the PGA Tour. He had microdiscectomy surgery March 31, forcing him to miss the Masters for the first time. The winner of 14 major tournaments — second to Jack Nicklaus’ 18 on the all-time list — also missed the U.S. Open last week.

The announcement on Woods’ Facebook page delivered a jolt of good news to golf.

Woods has been the game’s biggest draw since he turned pro in 1996. With limited information about his recovery, speculation was starting to build he might not make it to any majors this year.

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“After a lot of therapy, I have recovered well and will be supporting my foundation next week at the Quicken Loans National,” the 38-year-old Woods said on Facebook. “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.”

This is the first year for a new title sponsor at the PGA Tour event that donates its charity money to the Tiger Woods Foundation.

Assuming he stays healthy, Woods likely will compete in the British Open at Royal Liverpool and the PGA Championship at Valhalla, where he won majors the last time they were held on those courses.

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