Woods plays practice round at Augusta

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The lingering "will he play/won't he play?" scenario with Tiger Woods ahead of next week's Masters entered a new phase on Tuesday when the former world No. 1 played a practice round at Augusta National.

Woods' manager Mark Steinberg said that Woods had played 18 holes at the iconic Masters venue in Georgia as he continued to assess whether his game would be "tournament-ready" for the first major of the year.

However, Steinberg did not say whether Woods was any closer to reaching a decision about competing this year at the Masters, where he is a four-time champion.

Woods, whose ranking has plummeted to a mind-boggling 104th, has struggled badly for form and fitness this season, and has played only twice on the 2014-15 PGA Tour.

He posted the highest score of his professional career, an 11-over-par 82, to miss the cut at the Phoenix Open in January, and withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open early last month after 11 holes because of back pain.

Woods, who claimed the most recent of his 14 major titles at the 2008 US Open, said he would not return to the PGA Tour until his game was "tournament-ready" and many pundits believe he is suffering from the chipping ‘yips'. "I enter a tournament to compete at the highest level, and when I think I'm ready, I'll be back," Woods wrote on his website. "I hope to be ready for the Masters."

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