Tiger Woods has formally registered to play in the US Open, suggesting he is close to a return to competitive golf.
The 14-time major championship winner has had three operations to fix back problems and last played a tournament in August 2015.
Woods’ exempt status means he is free to play if he wishes, but his registration is no guarantee that he will compete at Oakmont on 16 June.
His agent Mark Steinberg told ESPN the paperwork was “simply procedural”.
Woods also registered for last year’s US Open before withdrawing with back trouble.
Earlier this month, Woods ruled himself out of contention for the Masters at Augusta.
“I’ve been hitting balls and training daily, but I’m not physically ready,” he said at the time.