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Tiger Charts Course for Augusta via Austin

Tiger Woods will make his first appearance at the WGC-Match Play since 2013.
Tiger Woods' playing path to next month's US Masters appears set with the 14-time major winner committing to compete at next week's World Golf Championships-Match Play event in the Texas capital of Austin.

With only this week's Valspar Championship, the WGC-Match Play and the Texas Open between now and the Masters, Woods' start at Austin Country Club shapes as his final hit-out before venturing to Augusta National.

The 43-year-old has made a habit of resting the week prior to major championships, making the possibility of an appearance at the Texas Open from April 4-7 highly unlikely.

Woods has never competed at Austin Country Club but will arrive as the only three-time winner of the WGC Match Play having won in 2003 and 2004 in California and again in 2008 in Arizona.

But he hasn't played in the WGC Match Play since 2013 and the event has seen a major format change in that time.

Since 2015, a round robin system has been used, meaning the 64-man field is split into 16 groups of four players and ensures every golfer plays a minimum of three matches.

Woods - coming off a T30th result at the Players Championship - told the PGA Tour that the guarantee of three competitive matches is an attractive proposition.

“I'm hoping that I can play all the matches,” said World No. 13 Woods. 

“That would be great, I'm guaranteed to play three instead of - when I played it was only one guaranteed, so that's kind of nice knowing that I'll be able to get at least three good rounds in, possibly more if I play well, and that's basically like a tournament.”

The top 64 players in the Official World Golf Rankings as of Monday US time secured guaranteed starts in the WGC-Match Play.

The Australian contingent will likely comprise Jason Day (12th), Marc Leishman (18th), Cameron Smith (25th) and Adam Scott (29th).

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