TIGER WOODS is in to 4.7 favourite to win the first Major of the season – the US Masters – after returning to the top of the world rankings with a smooth success at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Woods led the field by two going into the weather-interrupted final round at Bay Hill, a course where he had won seven times previously and never really looked in any danger as he strolled to a two-stroke victory over Justin Rose.
He was matched at a high of 9.0 In-Play to win the tournament for an eighth time when he trailed by six shots during the early part of his third round.
The victory is Woods' third win on the PGA Tour this season following victories in the Farmers Insurance Open and the WGC Cadillac Championship – perhaps significantly at venues where he was already a multiple winner – and it moves him to No.1 in the world rankings for the first time since October 2010.
Woods' rise back to the top of his profession will be all the more satisfactory coming just a week after he publicly announced he is in a relationship with American skier Lindsey Vonn.
It is now apparent the “new” Tiger plays his best golf at venues where he has previously enjoyed success so the fact he is a four-time winner at Augusta National will add further confidence to those who have already backed him at prices up to and including 14.0.
However, Woods has failed to don the famous Green Jacket since 2005 nor has he been able to add to his tally of 14 Major titles for nearly five years an that has to be a worry.
Tiger's main rivals according to the Betfair Winner market appear to be the man Woods replaced as world No.1 – Rory McIlroy (12.0) – and three-times Masters champion Phil Mickelson (15.5).
The US Masters tees off on Thursday, April 11.