With a brief statement posted to his website Friday afternoon, Tiger Woods ended speculation about his immediate future by announcing he would play in next week’s Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Now, speculation will turn inevitably to the state of his ailing back, his head and his golf game.

Woods, a four-time Masters champion, hasn’t played competitively since withdrawing due to back stiffness during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego on Feb. 5, citing “deactivated glutes.” The week before, plagued by short-game woes, he shot a career-high 82 in the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, missing the cut.

He announced on Feb. 11 that he would not return to competition until he felt he could be competitive again against the best golfers in the world.

In his statement Friday, Woods said The Masters is “obviously very important to me, and I want to be there. I’ve worked a lot on my game and I’m looking forward to competing. I’m excited to get to Augusta and I appreciate everyone’s support.”

Three weeks ago, when Woods skipped the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida — a tournament he had won eight times — there seemed to be little chance of his entering the Masters. But speculation over his intentions began to swirl when the Augusta Chronicle reported on Tuesday that a private plane with a tail number matching that of Woods’s Gulfstream was spotted at the Augusta airport.

Woods, it turned out, played 18 holes at Augusta National on Tuesday to test the state of his game. After he reportedly played another 18 holes Friday, he apparently decided he was fit to compete.

Woods, 39, won the last of his four Masters titles in 2005. He finished fourth in both 2011 and 2013, but was forced to miss the 2014 tournament following back surgery. The surgery also kept him out of the U.S. Open. He returned for the British Open and finished 69th — a showing that still represents the last time he has played a full four rounds in a tournament. He missed the cut in the PGA Championship, then took four months off.

“If he does play Augusta,” Golf Channel analyst Chris DiMarco, who lost in a playoff to Woods in the 2005 Masters, said during a conference call earlier this week, “this is a make-or-break week for him. . . [Woods had] the strongest mind I’ve ever seen, but it’s [becoming] mental, and if it doesn’t get fixed I don’t know if he can overcome it.”