Tiger Woods to play WGC event

Woods, 38, had similar back problems in August at the Barclays, where he fell to the ground after hitting an approach shot to the 13th hole. Woods finished the round and tied for second, but struggled throughout the rest of the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Although Woods said Wednesday that he was fine by the time of the Tour Championship, he didn't play a practice round that week and ended up tied for 22nd. He ended the year with a third-place finish at a European Tour event in Turkey and a runner-up finish at the World Challenge, then took six weeks off and has struggled in his three 2014 events.

Woods shot a third-round 79 at the Farmers Insurance Open and finished 80th; was tied for 41st at the Omega Dubai Classic; and last week, despite a third-round 65, was outside of the top 40 when he withdrew. That's just 10 competitive rounds this year.

But Woods said his practice time is far more important as he tries to prepare for next month's Masters, where he won the last of his four titles in 2005.

"I want to be strong and fit and healthy to be able to play that golf course and give it my best," he said. "So looking at scheduling and practice sessions and training and all that stuff, we have taken a really good look at it and really tried to come up with a plan so that I can compete and play and be ready and try and win my fifth [green] jacket."

Woods has not ruled out adding another tournament to the scheduled defense of his Arnold Palmer Invitational title in two weeks.

"I'd be surprised if he did, but it's something we talk about," Steinberg said. "He has basically played the same schedule leading up to the Masters for years."

Woods' No. 1 ranking is at stake this week at Doral, where Adam Scott could overtake him with a victory. He said all that is far from his mind as he tries to get healthy and compete. He also said there would be no hesitancy when he tees off in the first round with Scott and No. 3-ranked Henrik Stenson.

"No, my treatments have been fantastic, anti-inflamms and just a bunch of treatment," he said. "It's annoying being poked and prodded all the time, but it's got me to a point where I can do this today, and tomorrow I'll be able to hit more full shots and go all-out."

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