Commentary: Tiger Woods - Looking to Get His Roar Back at the 2012 Masters
Charles E. Sutton | , WI Staff Writer | 4/2/2012, 6:10 p.m.
Legendary Jack Nicklaus' assertion that Tiger Woods could win more Green Jackets than he and Arnold Palmer combined - 10 total - looks a remote possibility now that Woods' Masters wins seems to have all but stopped (he has only one in the last nine years). Nicklaus' claim came after Woods won his first in phenomenal fashion in 1997 when he stormed to an astonishing 12-shot victory, and a record-breaking total of 18-under par. This year's 78th edition of the Masters Golf Tournament will be held April 5-8 in Augusta, Georgia.
The most recent victory came in 2005 when he beat Chris Di Marco in a play-off, having holed a chip shot on the 16th hole when it seemed he was struggling. Since that time, Wood's actually played well at the Masters. He's finished sixth or better, including a tie for fourth place last year, but victory has evaded him and he hasn't won any major tournament since fighting through the pain to win the 2008 U.S. Open Tournament.
Given the lengthy drought that he's experienced at the Masters, and other tournaments as well, people have been debating whether Woods will ever recapture his dominance. The reality is, prior to March 2012, he hadn't won anywhere since 2009. At the end of 2011, he defeated a very limited field in the non-official Chevron World Challenge. However, it did very little to silence his doubters.
Woods continued to split opinion at the beginning of 2012 but seriously raised excitement levels by providing the lowest final round of his pro career, a 62, when finishing tied for second behind winner Rory Mc Ilroy at the Honda Classic, played in early March at the PGA National Resort & Spa's Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. And, despite hobbling out of the following week's WGC-Cadillac Championship with an Achilles problem, Woods finally posted his first PGA Tour win in 30 months by capturing the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, in Orlando Florida, his final warm-up event before the Masters.
That five-shot victory, the 72nd of his PGA Tour career, also lifted him up to number six in the world rankings. In October 2011, he was ranked No. 52 in the world.
Now, many golf experts believe Wood's renaissance will be completed by a fifth Masters championship on Sunday, April 8, which will have him sporting the Green Jacket again.
I believe this Masters Golf Tournament will belong to Tiger Woods.