Updated from 2:56 p.m. EST
, who hasn't played tournament golf since his dramatic U.S. Open win last June, said Thursday he would return to the links next week to tee it up in the Accenture Match Play Championship.
Woods has been sidelined since he won his 14th major at Torrey Pines. Just days after the tense playoff victory over Rocco Mediate, the world's top golfer announced he would undergo season-ending
. As a result, he missed the year's final two majors, the Open Championship and the PGA, along with the Ryder Cup.
"I'm now ready to play again," Woods said in a statement on his Web site.
This particular tournament has been good to Woods, who is the defending champion of the event and who also took home the trophy in 2003 and 2004.
To say that news of Woods' return is a positive for the PGA Tour, its sponsors and its fans is an understatement. Since his first major win at the 1997 Masters, Woods has been equated with the game. But even though he may be a magician on the golf course, he's not yet enough of a force to pick up a stock market suffering through a deep recession.
On a day the
traded to the downside, most golf-related stocks were also in the red. However,
, the maker of Woods' equipment, was up 0.3% at $42.93.
lost 3.7% to $6.84, and
( FO), the seller of Titleist and Footjoy, fell 3.6% to $27.48.
, the title sponsor of Woods first event of 2009, was down 2.7% to $29.98. As for the networks, NBC parent
was lower by 6.8% at $9.38.
, the owner of ABC and ESPN, was off 0.9% at $17.53.
declined 1.6% to $4.89.
, with which Woods previously had an
, dropped 11.5% to $1.77.