Augusta, Georgia (Reuters) – Padraig harrington has produced a collection of magical achievements at the U. S. Masters however the 14-times major champion has established the stage for what might be one of golf’ s greatest occasions as he takes his comeback in order to Augusta National Golf Club next week.
After long battles with back again issues and many false starts, the particular 42-year-old Woods returns to stately Augusta for the first time since 2015.
Despite playing only a handful of tournaments, he arrives at the particular year’ s first major among the hot favorites to claim the particular coveted Green Jacket.
“ This is a little bit just like a Lazarus resurrection here with respect to in which he was, ” Steve Mona, Entire world Golf Foundation CEO, told Reuters.
“ Just last September he was speaking about whether he would be able to comeback whatsoever. Now he is the favorite at the Experts it is just astonishing.
“ He is certainly in type. I don’ t think anybody would be terribly surprised if he or she were in the hunt.
“ I would not depend him out just based on what we should have seen from him the last 3 events it is not outside the realm associated with possibility that he would do and exactly what a tremendous story that would be. ”
A year ago Woods seemed to be closer to a sad end rather than new beginning to his storied profession.
He had lost a major since the 2008 U. S i9000. Open and was missing the particular Masters for a second consecutive season.
The back that will had caused him so much discomfort was getting no better regardless of numerous surgeries and treatments, since the former-world number one dropped out of the best 1, 000 of the world ranks.
Even the ever-positive Woods suddenly seemed resigned to some dour fate.
Yet after undergoing spinal blend surgery last April the darkish clouds hanging over Woods gradually began to lift.
Shaking off years of competitive corrosion, Woods returned with an encouraging connect for ninth at the Hero Globe Challenge followed by a tie meant for 23rd at the Farmers Insurance Open up and a missed cut at the Genesis Open.
After that suddenly Woods grabbed the limelight as only he can, announcing their return to form with three amazing results — a 12th in the Honda Classic, a tie pertaining to second at the Valspar Championship plus a tie for fifth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
“ If you would have asked me personally at the beginning of the year that I would have a new chance to win two golf competitions, I would have taken that in a heartbeat, ” said Woods after their final round at the Arnold Palmer, his final tune-up for the Experts.
“ Basically can play with no pain and am can feel like I can make golfing swings I’ ll figure this out. ”
Those results have generated a nearly unprecedented buzz around this year’ t Masters as Tiger-mania once again flushes over the golf world.
With Woods back in the search television ratings have soared together with expectations and like the fans, their fellow golfers have taken notice.
“ It’ t obviously been a big impact, ” said last year’ s champ Sergio Garcia. “ We all know what sort of player he is and what kind of gamer he can be when he’ ersus healthy, ” added the Spaniard.
Adding to Woods’ upbeat mood is a return to certainly one of his favorite venues, Augusta Nationwide, a course that officials once attemptedto “ Tiger-proof” by tweaking the particular layout.
Whilst he won the last of their four Green Jackets 13 years back, the track has always suitable him. He has posted seven top-five finishes along with his victories.
“ I’ m certain he’ s excited to come back to Augusta and it’ s a place exactly where he’ s done well, ” said Garcia. “ I would anticipate him to do fairly well, yet I don’ t know how properly, you know, because it’ s recently been a while since he’ s already been there and he will probably be a little bit anxious, too, which is normal.
“ He’ s simply got to deal with all those feelings once again. ”
Modifying by Toby Davis