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Will Tiger Roll Back The Years At The Masters?

April 4, 2018

Tiger Woods is the man to watch at The Masters this week, with the legendary golfer eyeing a return to the top of the sport.

The 43-year-old seemed destined to smash Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major wins when he won The Open in 2008. However, injuries and a complete collapse in form has resulted in a 10-year drought.

Woods has shown signs of a return to his best form, but will face a challenge to win the Green Jacket for a fourth time.

Even the current elite of the game have struggled at the Augusta course, while there are also outside candidates like Woods, who are aiming to secure the crown.

Tiger Woods

Can Woods roll back the years?

The decline of Wood has been one of the major storylines in golf over the past five years. Although he was not winning majors, Woods was still competitive on the big stage – at the least recording one top-10 finish per year from 2009 to 2013. However, from 2014 onwards he has mustered just one top-20 placing, while injuries have prevented him from competing in the last two years. Woods returned to action on the PGA Tour for the 2017/18 campaign and put forward an impressive performance at the Hero World Challenge.

The 43-year-old missed the cut at the Genesis Open, but began to find his feet at the Honda Classic. Woods hinted that he was well and truly back to his best at the Valspar Championship, displaying a number of brilliant shots around the course.

He placed in second with an overall score of nine-under, losing out by one stroke to Paul Casey. Woods continued his fine form at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, securing another top-five finish. The 14-time major winner has the experience and the quality to produce the winner. Sentiment has seen his price plummet, but he still has good value for the Green Jacket with odds of 14/1 with 888Sport.

Ian Poulter

Poulter produced a classic performance in the Houston Open to secure his place in The Masters. The Englishman was poised to miss the tournament had he not won the event following a points issue from the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play. His defeat at the hands of Kevin Kisner appeared to have ended his hopes of competing at Augusta after a miscommunication.

However, the 42-year-old overcame a mediocre first round at Houston to win the competition. Poulter produced three excellent rounds, including a card of 67 on the final day to force a play-off with Beau Hossler. He held his nerve to defeat the American and now has the chance to capitalise on his momentum in The Masters.

Poulter has not been overly competitive on the big stage, with his last top-10 finish coming at Augusta in 2015. He did compete in the tournament last year and will need something special once again to produce an effort worthy of donning the Green Jacket. He’s a rank outsider at odds of 60/1  with 888Sport, which represents great value on a punt.

Alexander Noren

Noren has been on a quiet charge in the 2017/18 PGA Tour culminating in a third-place finish at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, with nerves playing a role in his inability to break into the final. The 35-year-old made an impression in the Farmers Insurance Open, finishing joint-top of the leaderboard, although he lost out in the three-place playoff to Jason Day. Noren was once again impressive in the Honda Classic, putting forward three impressive rounds. However, a lacklustre second day, resulted in the Swede being able to clinch a victory.

He was able to build on his outing in the WGC Matchplay, defeating Patrick Reed and Cameron Smith. However, he lost his composure against Kisner, although he was excellent in the third-place contest to defeat Justin Thomas. Experience could be an issue on the big stage, with only two top-10 finishes in majors. His best performance came when he finished tied-sixth at The Open last season. Noren will have to take his game to the next level to win the Green Jacket at odds of 45/1  with BetVictor.

Paul Casey

Will this be the tournament that Casey finally makes his breakthrough on the big stage? The 40-year-old has finished in the top 10 of the last three Masters’ tournaments, but has not produced the decisive display to claim the Green Jacket. Casey has been in excellent form this season on the PGA Tour, making the cut in all eight of his competitions. He has been a model of consistency and capped his impressive term with a brilliant performance to see off Woods to win the Valspar Championship.

On the final round of the competition the Englishman needed a special outing to fend off the charge of the legend. He shot a 65 to finish 10-under on the tournament – defeating his rival by one stroke. Casey has always had the talent, but has struggled to cope with the pressure at the majors. Time could be running out for him to secure a major title, which is why he must capitalise on his form. Back him at 22/1  with Betway to win the Green Jacket.

Sergio Garcia

Can Garcia make history?

Garcia finally broke his duck on the major stage when he defeated Justin Rose. The last man to record back-to-back wins at Augusta was Woods back in 2002, highlighting the difficulty of repeating success at the venue. Jordan Spieth is testament that even the best of players can crack under the pressure of history following his meltdown in 2016. Garcia has not been overly active on the PGA Tour this term, competing in just four events.

However, he has reeled off three top-10 finishes on the bounce, rounding into form nicely ahead of The Masters. The Spaniard placed in fourth in the Valspar Championship, putting forward two strong performances on day three and four, finishing two strokes behind Casey. Garcia was beaten in the round-of-16 by Kyle Stanley in the WGC Matchplay, which will have disappointed the 38-year-old. He proved last season he has the quality and nerve to secure the title, backing him at odds of 28/1  with BetVictor could be a worthwhile punt.

Tips Summary

Tiger Woods To Win The Masters
Thursday 5th April – Sunday 8th April 2018
Odds: 14/1

Ian Poulter To Win The Masters
Thursday 5th April – Sunday 8th April 2018
Odds: 60/1

Alexander Noren To Win The Masters
Thursday 5th April – Sunday 8th April 2018
Odds: 45/1

Paul Casey To Win The Masters
Thursday 5th April – Sunday 8th April 2018
Odds: 22/1

Sergio Garcia To Win The Masters
Thursday 5th April – Sunday 8th April 2018
Odds: 28/1

  • Ian Poulter
  • The Masters
  • Tiger Woods

    About the author

    Eric Roberts
    Eric Roberts

    Sports Journalist

    Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.