Woods to play in Ireland before Open

Tiger Woods has confirmed he will make his first appearance outside the United States this year at next month's JP McManus Invitational Pro-Am tournament in Ireland.

Woods, who finished tied for fourth on his return at April's Masters in Augusta following a knee injury and revelations about his private life, will step up his preparations for the Open at St Andrews with an appearance at the Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort in Adare, County Limerick on 5 and 6 July.

"I am very happy to be joining this outstanding field," Woods said. "I understand the importance of raising funds to help deserving individuals. This tournament does just that."

The 34-year-old American missed the cut at May's Quail Hollow Championship, withdrew from The Players Championship seven holes into his final round due to a neck problem and last week finished tied for 19th behind Justin Rose at the Memorial Tournament.

Twelve of the world's current top-15 ranked players have confirmed they will play at the JP McManus event. Woods is joined by Lee Westwood, Jim Furyk, Ian Poulter, Ernie Els, Luke Donald, Paul Casey, Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Robert Allenby, Padraig Harrington (the 2005 champion) and Camilo Villegas.

Tournament host JP McManus said: "We are delighted Tiger has agreed to play. I am sure everyone will appreciate his participation and give him a great Irish welcome on his return to Adare."