The Masters 2013: Tiger Woods has plenty of opposition in Augusta

World number one is favourite to win first major of the year

He is back at the top of the world rankings and back as a short-priced favourite for the Masters, but all is not lost for those out to prevent Tiger Woods from winning a fifth Green Jacket.

With three wins in four strokeplay events on the PGA Tour this season and two in his last two starts, Woods is understandably the name on everyone's lips when it comes to the first major of the year.

But with the favourite in each of the last seven years failing to win at Augusta National, the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson will still have their eyes on the prize when play gets under way on Thursday.

Woods himself was the last favourite to win here in 2005, when he edged out Chris Di Marco in a play-off to win his fourth Masters title.

"I am surprised, I didn't realise it's been that long since he won," said Ryder Cup partner Steve Stricker. "And everything about this course is suited for his game.

"He's had a couple of opportunities in there but all that can all change over this next week and I'm sure he's going to get right in there.

"It seems like he's in a good spot. He's happy and he's relaxed and he just feels good about what he's doing with his game, and it's showing in his attitude too."

Stricker is partly responsible for Woods' resurgence this season, giving him a putting tip ahead of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral which the 14-time major winner went on to win for the seventh time.

"I played 14 holes with him on Sunday and he's hitting it nicely," Stricker added.

"Looks like he's got a ton of confidence in that putter too, which you need to go around here or anywhere if you're going to win a golf tournament.

"It looks like he's comfortable in his game and what he's doing and I expect him to be in the mix come Sunday for sure."

And does Woods return the favour when Stricker, who is playing a limited schedule this year, needs advice?

"Yeah, it's mutual," the 46-year-old said with a smile. "We were talking on Sunday about pitching and chip shots and little wedge play. I was asking him about what he does, his action on the way back and on the way through.

"We try to help each other out once in a while. It's not like we do it every time we play or talk to one another, it's just when things pop up. He's the best player in the world and it's fun to bounce some ideas off him here and there."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins wins the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
News
(David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor