Golf: Woods could be back for Masters after sponsor Nike reveal outfits

LONDON (THE GUARDIAN) - Perhaps the strongest hint that Tiger Woods will return to compete at the Masters has arrived from his sponsor. Nike has revealed the clothing the American golfer is scheduled to wear during the first Major of the season, which starts on April 9.

Woods has not played since withdrawing midway through the Farmers Insurance Open in February. Although he had been struggling with injury, the 14-times Major winner also has flaws in his game. Woods later insisted he would not reappear until his golf was "tournament ready".

Nike's preview has triggered speculation over whether this is a nod to Woods' Augusta participation. There are alternative theories - the sponsor may have wanted to keep Woods visible, as part of its roster, and outfits for other Nike players, such as Rory McIlroy, were also revealed.

Or Nike may be no clearer than the rest of us as to Woods' immediate future. He is notoriously private about his plans. Masters confirmation either way surely cannot be too far away.

Woods is due to wear various patterns of white, black, grey and red shirts should he restart his bid to move one closer to Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 Majors. A somewhat garish pair of red golf shoes also formed part of the fashion shoot.