Tiger Woods has increased the possibility that he could compete at the 2022 US Open after the 15-time major winner submitted his entry for the tournament prior to Wednesday's deadline.
Woods made a remarkable return to professional golf at the Masters this month, making the weekend 14 months after a serious car crash which could have resulted in his right leg being amputated. Following his participation at Augusta National, the American was noncommittal over his plans, although he did say he was aiming to play the Open Championship at St Andrews on his "favourite course in the world".
Since then, 46-year-old Woods has been confirmed for the Pro-Am at Adare County as a warm-up tournament before the Open, which takes place July 14-17.
While Woods being among the 9,265 entrants for this year's US Open does not necessarily mean he will compete, it does suggest that the former world No 1 is not ruling it out. The 2022 US Open takes place one month before the Open Championship and is being staged at Brookline in Massachusetts.
Should Woods play in the US Open, he could be joined by long-time rival Phil Mickelson, who also submitted his entry to the tournament.
Mickelson, 51, has taken a self-imposed break from golf after causing a stir over critical comments made about the PGA Tour in relation to the launch of the new Saudi-backed rival circuit. The American, a six-time major champion, missed the Masters for the first time in 28 years.
There are currently 48 players exempt into the field for the 2022 US Open, including three-time champion Woods and six-time runner-up Mickelson. That number will increase to include the top 60 point leaders, and ties, from the Official World Golf Ranking as of May 23 and June 6. PGA Tour event winners and the PGA Championship winner - the next major on the calendar beginning May 19 at Southern Hills - will also receive entries.
Jon Rahm will arrive at Brookline as the defending champion having claimed his first major title with a one-shot victory at Torrey Pines.