After months of anticipation, Tiger Woods is finally back at Augusta. Wood’s tee time for today’s Masters Round 1 is set for 10:42 a.m. Eastern. March Leishman and Tommy Fleetwood are part of Woods Masters group for the first two rounds. Fans wishing to watch Woods live will have to tune into the Masters.com live stream as the television coverage does not start until later in the day. ESPN begins their coverage at 3 p.m. Eastern with a primetime replay running from 8-11 p.m. Eastern. The 2018 Masters marks Woods first appearance at Augusta since 2015 as Woods missed the last two tournaments as he recovered from injury.
Vegas expects Woods to be in contention heading into the weekend. According to OddsShark, Woods is fifth among golfers with 14 to 1 (+1400) odds to win the Masters. Woods started the week as a co-favorite along with Rory McIlroy, but has dropped down the odds a bit as the week progressed. Woods appears to be in the best form and health he has been in years.
“I’m just really looking forward to playing,” Woods explained on his website. “It’s the best run tournament in the world. The golf course, the patrons, the entire atmosphere. It’s a golfer’s heaven…They resurfaced a few of the greens, but they still look like they’ve been there for 100 years. The course was in fantastic shape. My yardage book was basically the same.”
It remains to be seen what fans can expect from Woods this week. In his last three tournaments, Woods finished T-5 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, T-2 at the Valspar Championship and 12th in The Honda Classic. Woods is riding a hot steak into Augusta, but will face a much more difficult task at the Masters.
Woods brings a wealth of course knowledge and experience into Augusta. Woods has 13 top 10 finishes at Augusta over his career, which equates to half of his 20 Masters appearances. Woods has won four green jackets, but his last victory at Augusta came in 2005.
Woods already stole the show at Augusta as he competed in a practice round with Phil Mickelson on Tuesday. The move showed a lot of time has passed since the two were at the peak of their rivalry. Now, both Woods and Mickelson are seen as the golf veterans on the tour. Mickelson spoke with Golf.com about the unprecedented nature of their practice round.
“I don’t know the last time we played a practice round before a tournament,” Mickelson told Golf.com. “I don’t think it was 20 years ago, but I can’t remember another time…I texted him a while ago when he was playing at Valspar that it felt like it was a different time continuum because I found myself pulling so hard for him. It was unusual. And I find that I want him to play well, and I’m excited to see him play so well. And he is playing well.”
The way Woods and Mickelson are playing means we could be in for a historic Masters. Both veterans and young golfers are playing at a high level heading into the tournament leaving fans salivating for a Masters Sunday clash between the two generations.
Woods tees off with the same group on Friday for Round 2 at 1:27 p.m. Eastern. The groups and tee times for Rounds 3 and 4 will be announced on Friday.
Source: Heavy Sports