Tiger Woods could hardly contain his excitement on his website about returning to the Masters for the first time since 2015.�Even though the four-time winner hasn�t played at Augusta in three years, many sportsbooks have him as the favorite, and the 42-year-old golfer returning to the game after his fourth back surgery took note.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods has won the Masters four times and is one of the favorites to win this week. (Image: Getty)

�Quite a shift,” Woods said in an article posted on his website. “Six months ago the odds were I wasn�t even going to play.”

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has woods as a 10/1 pick to win the Masters, along with Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, and Justin Thomas. Sportsbook.ag has him and Jordan Spieth as the two favorites to win, also at 10/1.


Proving Doubters Wrong

Not everyone believes Woods is the frontrunner to win his fifth green jacket, however. Several sportsbooks have him down the betting board. He is third at many of the UK and offshore betting sites. Skybet has him at 11/1, behind McIlroy and Spieth at 9/1, with Johnson and Thomas at 10/1.

One of Woods’ ex-coaches though said he has talked to other players on the PGA Tour and they are pessimistic of Woods winning. Hank Haney said on his Sirius/XM PGA Tour radio show that other players can�t believe he is a favorite.

�I have not found one touring pro that thinks [Woods] is going to win Augusta,� Haney said. �Matter of fact, they think it�s a joke that he�s the favorite.�

The best odds for gamblers wanting to wager on Woods is probably at Ladbrokes, BetStars, and 888Sport, all of which have him at 14/1. It’s a far cry, however, from when he was being listed at 100/1 in November and 50/1 in December.

Obstacles to Overcome

There are two big factors working against the 14-time major championship winner. Both could adversely affect any chance he has at Augusta National.

The first is that he is only five tournaments into his comeback from fusion surgery on his back. He has played well, but is still rusty in areas of his game.

That points to the second struggle he faces, which is his driving. Woods’ stats off the tee have been awful. He is 202nd in driving accuracy, and hitting the fairway half the time isn�t conducive to scoring.

Fortunately, spraying the ball off the tee doesn�t penalize players as much at Augusta as it would at, say, the US Open. Woods can stray from the fairway at Augusta and still score. He has been improving with the driver from when he began the season and that might be just enough to get by.

The biggest reason for his potential success is his experience. Knowing the course is crucial. Justin Rose has played there 11 times and told Masters.com that knowledge is key.

�Experience is huge,� Rose said. �It’s the one yardage book that you never want to lose. I’ve got so many notes. I feel that you learn a little tidbit of information, something new, every single year.�

The other intangible for Woods is confidence. According to the article on his website, titled “Woods Excited With Masters Only One Week Away,” the former champion for the first time in a while believes he can win, and thus there won�t be any intimidation when he steps to the first tee on Thursday.

�I�m just there to win,� Woods said.