Woods return down to hard work

But the former world number one also showed a rare lighter side to his personality on Tuesday, confirming his two children would caddie for him during the traditional par-three contest he has not played in since 2004.

Woods has started just two events in 2015, shooting a career-worst score of 82 to miss the cut in the Waste Management Phoenix Open and withdrawing through injury after just 11 holes of the Farmers Insurance Open on February 5.

That led to the 14-time major winner taking a break from competition to get his game back in shape, during which time he dropped outside the world’s top 100 for the first time since September 1996, a slide which continued on Monday as he fell from 104th to 111th.

The 39-year-old has not won a major since the 2008 US Open and the last of his four Masters wins was a decade ago, but after 11 holes of practice on Monday he declared he was finally able to “compete to win a golf tournament.”

“I worked my ass off,” Woods said with a smile in his pre-tournament press conference. “That’s the easiest way to kind of describe it. I worked hard.

“People would never understand how much work I put into it to come back and do this again. It was sun up to sundown, and whenever I had free time. If the kids were asleep, I’d still be doing it, and then when they were in school, I’d still be doing it. So it was a lot of work.”

Asked if he had ever lost hope, Woods added: “More frustration than anything else, because I knew what I could do and just wasn’t able to do it at the time.

“It would come in flashes. I would get in these modes where it would come for 10 minutes and I would just have it, just dialled in, and then I’d lose it for an hour; and then I’d get it back.

“There were times when there were a few clubs that flew, suddenly slipped out of my hand and travelled some pretty good distances, too. There were some frustrating moments, but I had to stick with it.”

Woods made a hole-in-one the last time he played the par-three contest in 2004, but opted not to compete in a play-off for the title knowing that no player has ever won the par-three event and tournament proper in the same year.

“We all know what happened in 1997 with my dad’s health,” Woods added. “He was (pronounced) dead at one point earlier that year, came back, and then came here and I won the Masters.

“To now have come full circle and to have a chance to have my kids out there and be able to share that with them, it’s special.

“Charlie has seen me win a golf tournament before. Sam, actually she was there at the US Open in 2008, but doesn’t remember it. It’s nice to be able to share these things with my family and it just means the world to me. They are excited, I’m excited and can’t wait to go out there.”