SI.com: Don't count out Woods at the Masters
Can Tiger Woods find his way back to the green jacket this weekend?
April 6th, 2011
06:13 PM ET

SI.com: Don't count out Woods at the Masters

It’s the time of year when the game's greatest gather around the azaleas and take part in golf's greatest tradition: the Masters at Augusta National.

Although the world has a new No. 1 golfer in Martin Kaymer - and a new perception of an old No. 1 - Golf.com's Cameron Morfit writes the two golfers to beat this week are the same as always: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Combined, the two have won six of the last 10 Masters, and both seem poised to make a run at another green jacket this week. "Lefty" won last weekend to move up to No. 3 in the World Rankings and ahead of Woods for the first time in 14 years. Woods, meanwhile, hasn't won since November 2009, but is a four-time champion at Augusta and is seemingly more overdue for a victory than the Washington Generals.

Woods tees off at 10:41 a.m. ET Thursday with Robert Allenby and Graeme McDowell, while Mickelson goes off at 1:48 p.m. with Geoff Ogilvy and amateur Peter Uihlein. Although there are many golfers with a chance at winning the Masters this week, Morfit says the odds-on favorites are also golf's biggest figures.

"As ordinary as they've looked - and they've each looked painfully so for much of the last year - Mickelson and Woods remain overwhelming co-favorites at Augusta, where an otherworldly short game trumps wildness off the tee," Morfit writes.

Check back with SI.com throughout the week for Masters coverage. With the tournament not beginning until Thursday - and college basketball season regretfully over - here's what to watch Wednesday night (all times Eastern):

Minnesota Twins at New York Yankees (7:05 p.m., ESPN2) - Carl Pavano looks to rebound from a horrid debut when the Twins take on the Yankees, whom Minnesota rallied to beat 5-4 on Tuesday.

Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat (8:00 p.m., ESPN) - The Big Three and the Heat host the Bucks in a postseason tune-up. LeBron James needs just two points to have a 2,000-point season for the seventh time in his career, something only eight NBA players have accomplished. At age 26, James will become the youngest to join the exclusive club.

BY THE NUMBERS

65 – Age of Texas A&M women's basketball coach Gary Blair, who became the oldest coach in history to win a women's Final Four. On Monday, 68-year-old Jim Calhoun became the oldest coach to win on the men's side.

1 – The number of charges against Barry Bonds, out of five, that were dropped Wednesday in the former slugger’s perjury trial. Bonds' lawyers rested their case Wednesday, meaning no one, neither witnesses nor Bonds, will testify on his behalf.

4-0 – Record of the red-hot Cincinnati Reds, who are off to their best start since 1990 after downing the Astros 8-2 on Tuesday.

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Ed McCann

    See how women can wreck a man's life! It is sad to see the greatest golfer ever struggle to get his game back. I wish him well.

    April 7, 2011 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. Brad D.

    Tiger 'will' win the Masters!

    April 7, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. norma wilkinson Long Beach Cal.

    "He had it all.....and it wasn't enough"!!

    April 7, 2011 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. tomzach

    Tiger is no longer the player he was ! There are many other top notch players in this year's Masters. Like Mickelson, Luke Donald, Kaymer, McDowell who all have shown great form in the recent past. Odds for Tiger winning this year's Masters is very low indeed! I certainly will count him out !!!

    April 7, 2011 at 3:33 am | Report abuse |
  5. headstone

    tiger has lost his mojo and i doubt he ever gets it back.... i'll admit he could do it all with the golf clubs but thaat is over ha ha roflmao

    April 7, 2011 at 5:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joey

    The scene-setting opening of this report mentioned azaleas, one of the few things I miss about the South.
    Woods lost the discipline of his career the same way many celebrities do: by not knowing who he is.
    One who has many rewards from great skill cannot have everything available to Everyman.
    Sacrifices required by greatness include, for men, all the women and alcohol available to their fans.
    I don't believe Woods lost a mojo: he lost his discipline because he didn't know who he had to be.

    April 7, 2011 at 6:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. Chewy

    Tiger not only disgraced himself, he stained the integrity of the game. I don't care if he ever comes back, I'll never be a fan of his again. I also had great admiration for his incredible skills, but since the real possibility of steroid use came forward I question how much really was God given talent and how much was chemically obtained. He has disappointed many of us who love the game and saw him as a legend in the making, but Tiger shows no real respect for the fans or the game. He has become difficult to watch and it's even harder to pull for him.

    April 7, 2011 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joey

    Steroids are a reality in professional sports. I've spent enough time in gyms to have an eye for how quickly a human body can respond to exercise without chemical aid. When an often photographed sports star's muscular hypertrophy increases dramatically AND suddenly, one can strongly suspect the help of steroids.
    I do not condemn this use. Steroids are far more widely used than most of us are willing to admit, because it's more comfortable to attribute astounding skills to God's gifts than it is to attribute greatness to hard work and willingness to do anything necessary to be that good.

    April 7, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mike

    Gee. how many "so called writers" will still be beating the Tiger drum when he is dead and buried ? Exactly what in the past (since his martial woes) has shown that he is anywhere, as in anywhere, near the golfer he once was ? Please do explain that one ok ! Micahel Wilbon s the only talkin' head on ESPN who will actual tell ya' where he thinks Tiger will finish when asked....3rd or 33rd. Wilbon's answer. 33rd!

    April 7, 2011 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. Leo

    Tiger who?

    April 7, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  11. Lewy

    Get out the Fork – "Woodie" is Done.

    April 7, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. smanCometh

    I told you before and I'll tell you again, not only will this clown not win the Masters this year or ever again, but he will not win another major. Mark my words: The Golden Bear's record will never, ever by broken. How dare this Bozo even try...

    April 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
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