THE 2010 JBWERE Masters is underway at the Victoria Golf Club with former world No.1 Tiger Woods defending the only to title he still retains in world golf after his first winless season in 15 years.
Woods hit off at the Melbourne sand belt course at 7.27 this morning in a group containing Aussie hopefuls Robert Allenby and Brett Rumford.
Another tournament favourite, Geoff Ogilvy, was in a preceding feature group also containing Stuart Appleby and Matthew Griffin.
The field also contains international drawcards Sergio Garcia of Spain and Columbian Camilo Villegas.
Unlike the sell-out last year, tickets were still available to various stages of the event.
“I’m here to defend my title,” a determined Woods said in Melbourne this week, brushing aside questions about his spectacular fall from public grace that had its beginnings at this tournament last year.
Woods was hitting some errant shots early in his round and wasn’t a happy man.
As a sponsor commented as Woods lined up an 8 iron approach shot: “Last year you’d be thinking he would get it near the pin, this year you are hoping he hits the green.”
The JBWere Masters is being telecast on Fox Sport, with the afternoon sessions on Channel 9.