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Crowd supportive as Woods practices

Following a tenuous five months, embattled golf champion Tiger Woods has returned to the Masters and his first practice received by a smattering of applause and some snide remarks relating to the sex scandal that still plagues him.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2010 23:51 IST

Following a tenuous five months, embattled golf champion Tiger Woods has returned to the Masters and his first practice received by a smattering of applause and some snide remarks relating to the sex scandal that still plagues him.

News media on the ground in Augusta, Georgia reported that a relaxed Woods interacted with some spectators who called out "Welcome Back Tiger" and the golfer thanked his fans.

But Woods also got some laughs when he asked for a second ball, according to ESPN.

Last week, Woods caddy Steve Williams speculated that spectators who would come to watch Woods play, will behave themselves since the Masters draws a serious audience that will be focused on the game and not preoccupied with Woods extramarital affairs.

Woods has not played for the past five months as shocking details of his private life have received worldwide attention with several of the golfer's mistresses came forward with lurid details about his infidelity.

The cover-up was busted after his wife Elin found out about his extramarital affair with, Rachel Uchitel, a New York party planner, which led to an argument and accident on Nov 27 last year when Woods crashed his SUV outside his Florida mansion sustaining minor injuries.

Speaking to a roomful of his friends and colleagues for 14 minutes in February, Woods apologised for his behaviour, asked the media to back off from his private life, and revealed that he would use Buddhism to get his life back on track.

"I want to say to each one of you simply and directly I am deeply sorry for the irresponsible and selfish behaviour I engaged in. I am embarrassed I have put you in this position. For all that I have done I am so sorry," he said.

Woods has completed six weeks of sex-rehab at two different centers in the US.

The decision to play in the Masters was contrary to what he said in his apology in February when Woods spoke about spending time with his family.

"I do plan to return to golf one day. I just don't know when that day will be," he said, ruling out 2010.

"When I do return I need to make my behaviour more respectful of the game."