Tiger Woods' private plane has been spotted at Augusta Regional Airport, sparking rumours that the 14-time major champion will return at The Masters

Tiger Woods’ private plane has been spotted at Augusta Regional Airport, sparking rumours that the 14-time major champion is in town to practice at Augusta National Golf Club for the 2015 Masters.

Having this week dropped outside the world’s top 100 rankings for the first time since 1996, the four-time Masters champion will be looking to sharpen up his game, which was last on display at the Northern Trust Open at Torrey Pines in February.

The week before that saw the 39-year-old shoot a career-worst 82 in the second round of the Phoenix Open during a display that included a host of basic short game errors.

However, the Augusta Chronicle’s report of a plane matching the tail numbers of Tiger Woods’ Gulfstream G5 will be well received by golf fans globally, who have been fearing the worst since the former world number one withdrew after 11 holes at Torrey Pines on February 5th.

A week later Woods announced he was taking a leave of absence to work on his game, saying: “My play, and scores, are not acceptable for tournament golf. I enter a tournament to compete at the highest level, and when I think I’m ready, I’ll be back.”

It now looks like the time has come, though we may not know for sure until his tee time next Thursday, which is the last possible moment Woods can tell officials whether he is playing or not.

If Woods does make the first tee next week, it will be his first competitive round in two months. Woods fans needn’t worry too much though, as the last time he took a long break before a major, five months in 2010 before The Masters, he went on to finish tied fourth.