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.
His exempt status means he is free to play if he wishes, but his registration is no guarantee he will compete at Oakmont on 16 June.
His agent Mark Steinberg told ESPN the paperwork was "simply procedural".
Woods missed the cut at last year's US Open at Chambers Bay, one of three occasions in the 2015 majors that he failed to reach the weekend.
He did not take up his invitation to play in this year's Masters at Augusta National as he recovered from surgery on his back last September.