Talk of Tiger's return grows louder ahead of Arizona

Woods rumoured to be preparing comeback in just 11 days at World Match Play

What are the chances of Tiger Woods' "indefinite break" from golf amounting to a "one-tournament break"? Rumours intensified in golfing circles yesterday that the world No 1 is set to make a return to competition in 11 days' time at the WGC World Match Play Championship in Tucson.

Reports of an unexpectedly quick comeback for Woods first surfaced in Australia on Wednesday. Initially they were dismissed as wildly speculative, not least because Woods has been at a sex addiction clinic in Mississippi for the last few weeks. But a former professional, with strong contacts, yesterday indicated Woods is set to play in Arizona. When asked how likely it is he replied: "Bank on it."

Last night, Radio Five were also reporting the story, citing their own sources. It was also reported that Woods left the rehab centre yesterday in the company of his wife, Elin.

Most in golf will not believe it until Woods posts his entry to the 64-man event. He has until Friday to do so and it is understood the PGA Tour would be "very surprised" by a Woods entry. What makes it seem so improbable is the identity of the Match Play sponsors. Accenture were one of the first to drop him in the wake of all the revelations of extra-marital affairs. Would Woods be prepared to give so much publicity to a company which chose not to stand by their man? What would the companies say who had remained loyal?

There are other questions which make a Tucson return appear fanciful. Woods has not been seen in public since crashing into a fire hydrant outside his Florida home at the end of November. This caused him to miss his own event, the Chevron World Challenge in California, the next week. Then he announced in December he would be taking an "indefinite break" from the game. If he did show up at the Match Play, the only event where he would have been sure to tee it up in between would have been last week's Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego. In truth, players have taken longer breaks for their holidays.

However, Woods did return at Tucson last year following his eight-month absence due to knee surgery. And the head-to-head format may make for a gentler reintroduction (indeed he might only last two days like last year). Most matches finish before reaching the 18th green – where the majority of would-be hecklers are.

What might also make it attractive to Woods is that the deadline for media accreditation has passed. Saying that, last year the event organisers did allow for late requests and revealed that after Woods committed to play the number of accredited media rose from 350 to 500.

Neither organisers nor the local police have been informed of an imminent Woods arrival. "We don't know anything officially yet, but wouldn't that be nice?" said Wade Dunagan, executive director of the Match Play.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it