Tiger Woods confirms entry to 2018 Open at Carnoustie

After a number of years battling injury and recovering from back surgery, Woods has returned to golf this season and impressed with a tied-second at the Valspar Championship, tied-fifth at the Arnold Palmer International and tied-32nd at the Masters.

A three-time victor of the Claret Jug, Woods last appearance in The Open Championship came in 2015 at St. Andrew's, when he failed to make the cut. The American confirmed his entry on the eve before the start of the Players Championship at the TPC Sawgrass Golf Course on Wednesday.

The event received a huge boost yesterday with sponsors Dubai Duty Free committing to a four-year extension of its title sponsorship through to 2022 - two years guaranteed until 2020 with an option for another two years - with a minimum $7m prize fund guaranteed.

Woods, an 18-time Major victor, said past year that he would "love to play Carnoustie again".

Tiger Woods has been paired with long-time rival Phil Mickelson at the Players Championship. Woods did play down the expectations before the event and after his T55 performance at the recently concluded Wells Fargo Championships, the expectations are lower as he begins his campaign at the Players Championship on Thursday.

Woods made the turn at even par, Mickelson at two over and Fowler at one under.

Quoted by the Independent, he said: "I played there in the Scottish Open in 1995 and in 1999 in The Open". He is a three-time champion at the event, with his last win coming in 2006. "He's one hell of a competitor and it's always going to be a challenge to try and beat him".