Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy revving up for the 2018 US Masters

TIGER WOODS has certainly been playing some impressive golf in his latest comeback and with his fitness and back seemingly all in order he has jumped to be amongst the favourites to take out the rapidly approaching US Masters.

We were a little sceptical about the 42 year old and his fused back from multiple surgeries, especially since he seemed to be repeating his previous “comeback” mistake of signing up for a number of back to back events.

You’d think if you were coming back from a long layoff easy does it would be mandatory. But Woods has blown all that out of the water and at Bay Hill on the weekend was again well in contention before finishing at T5 – his third consecutive top-12 showing. The previous week he was joint runner up at the Valspar Championship after getting off to a very strong start.

A fit and in-form Tiger Woods is certainly great for golf, for TV ratings, for fans, for injecting extra excitement and interest into tournaments.

Prior to the final round of the Arnold Palmer Classic the bookies had responded, incredibly making a guy who many said was a “has been” just a short time ago (and who hasn’t won since 2013) as favourite to take his fifth green jacket and 15 major overall.

Rory McIlroy’s sensational 64 finish at Bay Hill on Sunday, including five birdies in his final six holes, to break an 18-month winless drought had most bookies knocking Woods back a peg.

The 29 year old Northern Irishman became favourite to win his first Green Jacket and complete a career grand slam.

We checked with a couple of Aussie betting sites  and found McIlroy at 9/1 with Woods sharing second favouritism at 10’s along with current world number one Dustin Johnson (don’t seem to have heard from that guy for a while!).

FedEx Cup leader Justin Thomas was at 11, 2015 champion Jordan Spieth 12, the in-form Justin Rose at 15 alongside the first of the Aussies … Jason Day.

Another recent tour drought-breaking winner in Phil Mickelson was at 19’s to collect his fourth Masters while defending champion Sergio Garcia was out at 29 – despite the fact he and wife Angela have just paid the ultimate tribute to the tournament by naming their new baby girl Azalea (name of the Augusta National 13th).

As for the other Aussie golfers, 2013 champion Adam Scott was at 41, while the more in form Marc Leishman, who is surely destined to win a major one of these days, was at 51.

We also have, barring any late qualifiers, Cameron Smith at 126/1.

The 2018 Masters  certainly seems to be shaping up nicely and again will be available to Aussie golf fans on free to air and pay tv.

What will be the 82nd Masters will grace Augusta National Golf Club from April 5 – 8.

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Brian is an award winning golf writer and is the founder and editor of Australian Senior Golfer. He is a former Sydney journalist who had little interest in golf till he hit his first ball at the age of 49 (and a half). Since then golf has just about overtaken his life. Brian founded ASG in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Karrie Webb, and many others. He has also played in, and reported on, numerous amateur tournaments, particularly senior and veteran events, around the country. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association and won the award for Best News Report for 2016 - 2017

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