Former world number one Tiger Woods has moved closer to a return to competitive golf by hitting full shots in practice.

Woods missed the year's first two major championships after undergoing back surgery on 31 March and has not played since the WGC-Cadillac Championship earlier that month.

Speaking on 19 May, Woods had said his recovery was "slow and tedious" adding: "As of right now I can chip and putt but that's it."

But in response to a report that he had stepped up his practice regime, the 14-time major winner's agent Mark Steinberg told the PGA Tour's website: "Tiger is making continual progress.

"He feels better each day and (is able to) extend his swing as he moves forward."

The news increases the possibility that Woods could be back in action in time for the Open Championship from 17-20 July at Hoylake, where he won the last of his three Open titles in 2006.