So you’re ready to bet the farm that Tiger Woods will win the Masters this year? Not so fast.
Sure, Tiger has won three times, reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the world rankings and gone public with his romance with skier Lindsey Vonn. He’s in a great place, both mentally and physically.
Bear with me as I present a slightly dissenting view.
History shows that Woods has won three times prior to the Masters in the past, and all three times he left Augusta without a win:
In 2000, he finished fifth. Then he proceeded to have one of the greatest golf years, if not the greatest, of all time. He won the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA in succession, and then capped the Tiger Slam the following April with a Masters win.
In 2003, Woods tied for 15th. He was bidding to become the first person to win the Masters three times in a row. He won no majors that year.
In 2008, he finished second. Two months later, he won the U.S. Open while playing on a severely damaged leg. He then took time off to rehab, and he hasn’t won a major since.
But this is 2013, and we know Woods yearns to end his major drought. A win at the Masters would put him one step closer to the all-time record he covets.
Tiger came to Augusta a year ago fresh off a win at Bay Hill and laid an egg. This time, his game seems more complete. It seems like he could be heading for that special place, circa the early 2000s, when he ruled the game.
There is no magic formula for picking Masters winners. Pre-tournament form is a good indicator, but some recent winners have caught lightning in a bottle and slipped on a green jacket.
Which leads me to this:
Don’t bet the farm on Tiger, but don’t bet against him.
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