Spieth certain he is the man to beat at Masters
close to his best at the recent Arnold Palmer Invitational and at the Valspar Championship.
Woods, who at a low point doubted he would ever play competitive golf again, has seen interest in his comeback tale at age 42 send resale prices for Masters badges soaring several thousand dollars above face value. He has not won a major since the 2008 US Open, has not won a tournament since the 2013 WGC Bridgestone Invitational, has not played in a Major since missing the cut at the 2015 PGA Championship and last won the Masters in 2005.
A streak of 12 rounds at par or better has shown Woods has regained his health. This week will tell if he has found the form that made him a global superstar.
“It’s a lot different from the first two comebacks. He wasn’t ready,” said Australia’s Jason Day. “He came back too soon. Now he’s hitting it longer than before.”
That’s part of the reason some oddsmakers have made Woods the tournament favorite.
“That’s kind of funny,” Woods said. “Six months ago the odds were I wasn’t even going to play.”
Woods played two nine-hole practice rounds two weeks ago at Augusta National, his first at the course since the final round in 2015.
“They resurfaced a few of the greens but they still look like they have been there for 100 years,” Woods said. “My yardage book was basically the same.”
ACE: Jordan Spieth has never finished lower than 11th at the Masters in four previous visits. (Reuters)