Tiger Woods on the comeback trail ahead of 2018 US Masters
It’s been a tumultuous decade or so for former world number one Tiger Woods.
The 14-time major winner has not lifted a top-level title since the US Open in 2008. But could there finally be light at the end of the tunnel for the 42-year-old?
Recent performances suggest so. The Florida resident has impressed with successive top-five finishes in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Valspar Championship.
He was runner-up in the latter – his best PGA Tour performance since chalking up five first-place finishes in 2013.
Those impressive displays have seen Woods’ odds cut for the US Masters from around 25/1 at the turn of the year to just 9/1 today.
He’s rated the joint-second favourite for the tournament – and with good reason.
The four-time Masters winner has his confidence back. He’s hitting the greens in regulation once again and his rejuvenated swing speed has been a pleasant surprise to all who watch him.
If he can continue to develop those areas of his game – and improve on his driving accuracy – then Woods has more than a fair chance of picking up his first US Masters victory since 2005.
And it’s his record in this tournament that could give him an extra edge over his opponents.
Although the last three victors have all been first-time winners, the Augusta National does have a habit of helping out previous champions.
The course’s greens aren’t always to everyone’s liking. But Woods has mastered them four times already. He’s finished inside the top-six on eight of his last 10 appearances at the Georgia course, too.
Even when not at his best, the 6ft 1in swinger has shown a penchant for performing well at Augusta.
Now he’s looking like the Tiger of old, we could be about to see the legend roaring back to life.
However, he’ll likely face stiff competition from Rory McIlroy.
The Northern Irishman has never worn the Green Jacket but warmed up for this year’s tournament with a handy three-shot victory at the Honda Classic. He’s the current 8/1 favourite.
Dustin Johnson is next best at 9/1. The 2016 US Open winner has finished T6 and T4 in his last two appearances at Augusta. He concluded the recent WGC-Mexico Championship in T7.
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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication