What did it take for Tiger Woods to end his self-imposed exile from competitive golf?
"I worked my ass off," he said. "That's the easiest way to kind of describe it."
After weeks of practicing on his home course in Florida, Woods will make his return at the Masters this week.
The former No. 1 player left the PGA Tour in early February following a substandard performance at the Phoenix Open and an injury that forced him to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
Woods swore that he would not come back until his game -- especially his short game -- had improved.
"I'm excited, excited to be back, back playing at this level," he told reporters during a press conference at Augusta National Golf Club. "My game is finally ready to compete at this level, the highest level, and I'm excited to be here."
His demeanor on Tuesday ranged from relaxed to determined.
"I'm trying to beat everybody out there," he said. "That hasn't changed."
For Thursday's first round, Woods is scheduled to play in an afternoon group with Jimmy Walker and Jamie Donaldson.