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Golfer Tiger Woods sits down to sign copies of his new book "The 1997 Masters: My Story" at a book signing event at a Barnes & Noble store in New York City on Monday. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Tiger hopes to play Masters in two weeks

Tiger Woods continues to struggle with back issues but the 14-time major champion has not ruled out playing the Masters in two weeks.

“God, I hope so,” Woods said when asked by “Good Morning America” host Michael Strahan if he would be able to play in the upcoming Masters. “I’m trying. I’m trying every day to get back and play.

“I love that event. It’s meant so much to me in my life. It’s the first major I ever played back in ’95. It has so much history and meaning to me that I’d love to get back.’’

Woods appeared on the ABC show in New York to promote his new book, “The 1997 Masters: My Story.’’ He won the first of his majors 20 years ago at Augusta National by a record 12 shots at age 21. (See related story, Page B1.)

Woods has not played a golf tournament since back pain caused him to pull out of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on Feb. 3.

The 41-year-old Woods is attempting to recover from two back surgeries in 2015 that led to a 17-month layoff.

“I need to get back physically,” Woods said Monday. “I know the mind is sharp. I just need to get the body willing to do it. I haven’t been able to train like I used to or practice like I used to. It’s been harder. My priorities have changed a lot. My kids now dominate my life, and I think that’s a good thing.”

Earlier this month, Woods said there was no timetable to his return.

Woods, a winner of 79 PGA Tour events, has until the first day of the Masters on Thursday, April 6 to decide whether he is playing. Past champions of the Masters are invited to participate for life and there is no commitment deadline.

Trace Adkins
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