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Tiger Woods says he can win his fifth Masters this week, despite having been out of action for five months because of a highly damaging sex scandal.

'Nothing's changed, I'll still go out to win this thing,' Woods insisted.

'I'm looking forward to teeing off. I haven't looked forward to that first shot in a long time.'

The world number one, 34, also said he had been 'blown away' by the reception from spectators during a practice round at the Augusta National on Monday.

'What a great day,' he said. 'The galleries couldn't have been nicer – it blew me away, it really did.'

In a 35-minute press conference, Woods also denied taking any illegal drugs and said his Swedish wife, Elin, would not be attending the tournament.

Woods was facing questions from a group of reporters for the first time since crashing his car into a fire hydrant outside his Florida home on November 27 2009.

The incident sparked a series of revelations about the American's private life and led him to admit he had 'had affairs and cheated'.

Woods looked tense and nervous as he arrived to face the 180 assembled journalists at the Augusta media centre, although his demeanour was broken by an occasional smile.

After thanking the spectators who had watched his practice round on Monday, he apologised to his fellow players for the distractions of the last few months.

'I know the players have been bombarded by questions and I hope after today they can be left alone,' he said.

'I apologise to them for having to endure what they have over the last few months.'

When asked what had been the most difficult thing about recent months, Woods said: 'Having to look at myself like I never want to look at myself, how far astray I got from my core fundamentals and morals my mom and dad taught me.