Tiger Woods could return to action in the WGC Accenture Match Play after his wife gave birth to a son - Charlie Axel - on Sunday.

But the world No 1 will not face a repeat of the 2000 final at La Costa after Darren Clarke gave up his last chance of qualifying for the Arizona event in three weeks’ time.

World No 73 Clarke pulled out of this week’s Maybank Malaysian Open and cannot now make the world's top 64 who qualify after the cut off next Monday.

Clarke beat Woods 4 and 3 in the final nine years ago but has decided to concentrate on making the top 50 in the world in time to qualify for the Masters.

The Dungannon man, 40, will play the Honda Classic and the WGC - CA Championship in Florida next month before teeing it up in the Madeira Island Open for the first time from March 19-22.

If he hasn’t qualified for the Masters by then, the Ulster ace can still make it to Augusta if he wins the Shell Houston Open the week before the season’s first major.

Woods, meanwhile, has yet to confirm when he will return to action after knee surgery.

He is the defending champion at the Accenture Match Play but may decide to wait until tour reaches his homes state of Florida next month.

Announcing the birth of a brother for 18-month old daughter Sam, Woods said on his website: “Both Charlie and Elin are doing great and we want to thank everyone for their sincere best wishes and kind thoughts.”

The world No 1 revealed last week that he is practising “full bore” but added: “I'm working hard to get myself back into tournament shape and will return as soon as I'm ready.”