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9 Reasons Tiger Woods Can Win the Masters, Slip on Fifth Green Jacket

Image: 9 Reasons Tiger Woods Can Win the Masters, Slip on Fifth Green Jacket
(Art Foxall/UPI/Landov)

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Monday, 06 Apr 2015 12:37 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Tiger Woods waited until the last minute to commit to play in this year's Masters golf tournament, returning from a self-imposed break from golf since mid-February.

Despite having to publicly admit that his game wasn't up to snuff, and that he needed to devote more time to practice, Woods remains the most compelling figure in golf — and possibly in all of sports. Speculation ran wild while he sat on the sidelines, ranging from the theory that Woods had lost interest in the game and is more focused on his love live, to a since-refuted alleged suspension.




But as the second week of April drew near, the big question remained: Would Tiger Woods return for the 2015 Masters? The four-time champion announced Friday, via his website, that he will pursue his fifth green jacket.

"I'm playing in the Masters," Woods said. "It's obviously very important to me, and I want to be there. I've worked a lot on my game and I'm looking forward to competing. I'm excited to get to Augusta and I appreciate everyone's support."

URGENT: Who's The Greatest Golfer Of All Time? Vote Now

So while the odds are longer than any time in his career, it's possible Woods can win the Masters anytime he tees it up. Here are nine reasons Tiger Woods can return with a bang and capture his 15th career major championship:

1. At Augusta National, he's at home — Tiger Woods has won the Masters four times, and even though it's been a decade since his last green jacket, there's no denying the importance of experience at the Masters.

2. Off the course, he's happy — Woods' game hasn't been the same since Thanksgiving of 2009, when his personal life began unraveling publicly. For the ultra-private Woods, sitting helplessly as his sexual escapades and the dissolution of his marriage played out in the papers struck a blow, and his game's never been the same. But he's now openly embracing his relationship with a fellow world-class athlete, Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, and there's only so long she'll put up with a loser.

3. His game is back — Golf Channel's Tim Rosaforte, as locked in as any golf journalist out there, reported that Tiger shot a worst-ball 66 at Medalist, his home course in Florida. Worst ball is a game pros play to challenge themselves, where they hit two balls and play the worse of the two. That continues through the round, meaning Woods wasn't just hot that day, he was consistent.

4. Yips, schmips — There's been so much talk of Tiger Woods' struggles around the greens. In the few televised rounds he has played this year, he looked like a weekend duffer at times, not the greatest golfer of his generation. But while opinions among pros are split, we're going to say Tiger's not suffering from the yips, and is simply rusty. All his swing changes before and since back surgery mean his practice has been dedicated to the full swing and not the short game. If he was still skulling the ball across the green, he would not be teeing it up this week.

5. He's in elite company — The list of Masters champions of the past two decades reads like a Hall of Fame roster. Multiple major champions dominate — Crenshaw, Faldo, Woods, O'Meara, Olazabal, Singh, Mickelson, Cabrera, Bubba. In fact, only five times since 1995 has the Masters been won by a player without another major title.

POLL: Is Tiger Woods The Greatest Of All Time? Vote Now

6. The favorites have major flaws — Rory McIlroy (6-1 odds) is the deserving favorite, but his three major wins came in soft conditions, unlike Augusta, and he's been unable to avoid a blowup over four days at the Masters. Jordan Spieth (10-1) is golf's new wunderkind, but unless you're Tiger Woods, winning a green jacket in your early 20s is nearly unheard of. Bubba Watson (10-1) has the pedigree, having won twice, but his game is so hot and cold, he could miss the cut and surprise no one. Jason Day (12-1) and Dustin Johnson (12-1) are solid contenders, but neither has proven capable of standing up to Sunday pressure in multiple near-misses at past majors.

7. Pressure is off — At 40-1 odds, this is the first time Woods comes into Augusta as an underdog, a role we've never really seen him play. And moreso than any athlete of the past 20 years, Tiger Woods has a flair for the dramatic. Winning this week would capture the attention of not only the golf world, but the media worldwide. 

8. Clock is ticking — Since he burst onto the scene, Tiger Woods laid out his singular goal, to surpass Jack Nicklaus' 18 career major championships. When he won the U.S. Open in 2008, his 14th major, the question wasn't if he'd pass Jack, it was when. But that's when the drought began. The Masters is the major that's friendliest to aging golfers, as their experience provides a major advantage over the young upstarts. A victory this week not only revives Tiger's career, it gets him within three majors of his life's goal.

9. Something to prove — Tiger Woods famously built his golf swing with his father. In recent years he's been searching for a coach to rebuild him. His time with Sean Foley was an unmitigated disaster, and they've parted ways. So what's Tiger been doing for the past two months? We can only guess he's been getting back to his roots, rediscovering his golf swing, and finding the inner strength that made him the best clutch player in decades. This week, he gets to unveil it for all to see.

URGENT: Tiger? Jack? Hogan? Who's the Best? Vote Now

A Golfer's Life is led by Ron Varrial, Newsmax's digital content director, who has almost 20 years of experience working in and covering the golf industry. Ron has written about golf online, in newspapers, and in magazines. His experience includes working and covering events on the PGA Tour, Champions Tour, and several USGA championships. He's also written extensively about golf equipment and travel.

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So while the odds are longer than any time in his career, it's possible Woods can win the Masters. Here are nine reasons Tiger Woods can return with a bang and capture his 15th career major championship.
tiger woods, win, masters, green jacket
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2015-37-06
Monday, 06 Apr 2015 12:37 PM
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