Tiger Woods believes he is ready for a big win at the Augusta National in Georgia, after not winning a major tournament since 2008.
Longtime golf icon Woods is now ranked 111 in the world in a sport he once dominated – but holds out optimistic for a change in his latest bid for his fifth Masters title.
In Monday practice Woods undoubtedly felt the pressure to perform back to his old faultless ways as his peers and fans were looking to scrutisnise his short game – but Woods looked in good shape as hopes were raised to see him at his best yet again.
“I’m in a good place now,” Woods said. “I felt like I had to get my game into a spot where I could compete to win a golf tournament and it’s finally there. It has been a process. But I am on the good side now.
“I felt good. It was nice to get out here. The course was a little bit faster than we played it last week.”
In recent times chipping has given Woods a problem, but he claims this aspect of his game is back on track.
“Chipping was fine. I wanted to test out some wedges out here. That’s why I was chipping a little bit more and with a couple different bounce settings, because it’s a little bit different [here] than in Florida. We figured the right one out.”
Former Open Champion, Mark O’Meara, said of Woods: “He will be nervous on Thursday, we all are. And under the gun it’s always a little bit different. But never underestimate Tiger Woods.”
Gun or no gun, who could underestimate the man who dominated the world golf scene for eleven years - from 1997 till 2008 – winning every major tournament along the way?
Even the world number one, 25-year-old Rory Mcllroy from Northern Ireland stated that Woods is one of the best golfers he’s ever seen, citing his days as a kid when he looked up to Woods on TV.
In 2015 Woods has started two events, with a career-worst score of 82 to miss the cut in the Waste Management Phoenix Open and pulling out through injury after only 11 holes of the Farmers Insurance Open in February.
While Woods claims to have had a decent run over 11 holes in practice to start the week, bookmakers aren’t holding their breath, with Woods priced between 40 and 50/1 to pull out a career-turning win in Georgia.