Honda officials preparing as if Tiger will play

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While it remains to be seen if Tiger Woods will play the Honda Classic, officials at the South Florida stop said they are preparing for his return to PGA National.

Woods announced on Wednesday that his game needs “a lot of work” and that he wants to play the Honda Classic but “won't be there unless my game is tournament-ready.”

The 14-time major winner has played the Honda Classic the last three years, finishing tied for second in 2012 and withdrawing last year with an ailing back.

Woods’ agent told GolfChannel.com that the former world No. 1 will begin practicing on Monday and will return to the Tour when he feels he is ready.

“He wants to play right now to be honest with you,” Steinberg said. “He’s chomping at the bit. Honestly, he competes to compete at the absolute highest level. Clearly these last two events weren’t up to that. When that swing gets grooved he’ll be ready to go.”

Steinberg called Honda Classic tournament director Ken Kennerly on Wednesday and explained that Woods needs time away from the Tour to focus on his game.

“You hate to hear it, but at the end of the day you have to do what’s best,” Kennerly told GolfChannel.com. “But we’re ready for Tiger, we’ve been ready for four years, and we hope in the next few days he’s able to play.”

The deadline to commit to the Honda Classic is Feb. 20 after play is completed at next week’s Northern Trust Open.