TIGER WOODS has confirmed he will be returning to the European Tour to compete in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in February.
Since making the first of five visits to the event nine years ago the world number one won it in 2006 and 2008 and has finished no worse than fifth. Woods was due to defend his title in 2009, but reconstructive knee surgery the previous June forced him to cancel the trip.
"The level of competition has always been extremely high, so I know I’ll have to play my best golf if I’m going to regain my title," said the American.
"It’s a great venue, the course is always in immaculate condition and the weather reminds me of back home in Florida.
"In the time I have been coming over the skyline keeps changing, keeps evolving and the people keep coming here and thoroughly enjoy it.
"From the time I first came to play here in 2001, I wanted to be a part of this amazing vision."
"We are naturally delighted and proud that Tiger Woods has agreed to join us for the 2011 Omega Dubai Desert Classic," said Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice-chairman and chief executive officer of golf in Dubai.
"Having the world’s greatest golfer play in your event is something many tournament organisers dream of, so for us to be able to welcome him for the sixth time is a major boost.
"With Tiger, who transcends all races, ages and gender, in the field we are pretty confident that the 2011 Omega Dubai Desert Classic will create a buzz on the global stage, giving a fresh impetus to tourism in the city.
"After all, he’s Tiger Woods for a reason."