• The Masters

Tiger to face media on Monday

ESPN staff
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Tiger Woods is ready to make a bid for Masters glory © Getty Images
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Tiger Woods was followed by packed crowds as he practiced on the course at Augusta on Monday, but it is his appearance before the media later in the day that is the talking point.

Woods will face his first press conference on Monday since the scandal about his private life broke and over 450 journalists have applied for accreditation. Only 180 have been granted a place and it is expected that questions will be limited to a maximum of one per person.

Before that he faced the public, as large numbers came through the turnstiles to watch him play alongside Fred Couples during the first practice day. Woods partnered Mark O'Meara on Sunday and once again is the centre of attention as he prepares for his first tournament since the sex scandal became headline news.

"Listen, I love the kid. I understand what happened and it's not a good thing that has happened," O'Meara said. "It doesn't take away from the fact that he's my friend and I care for him. It's like I told him out there, 'This is the place where you belong. This is what you love to do.' And he does. He loves to compete and play. So it's good to have him back. The game needs him back, and it's good for him to be back."

O'Meara is aware of the challenge facing Woods, but feels the world No. 1's game is in good shape. "He hit the ball pretty good today," O'Meara said. "He's been practicing the last three or four weeks. He's good to go. It's going to be a different thing for him. But if anyone can handle it, he can."

Woods chatted with a number of fellow tour players, including Paul Casey and Jim Furyk, suggesting he will receive a warm welcome from his fellow professionals.

"He's probably here a little earlier than normal," Furyk said. "I've never seen him here on a Sunday. Generally, it's nice to have him back and I can't wait until he's out here and I don't have to answer any more questions about him."

The press conference is due to take place at 7pm and ESPN.co.uk will bring you all the news and reaction.

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