TIGER WOODS is back – and boy how golf's missed him. There's a buzz about the sport again and no matter your thoughts on his private indiscretions there's nothing better than watching the world No.1 rip apart a challenging course.

When you think Tiger you think Green Jacket. It's the only colour he loves wearing more than red on the final day of a tournament.

Reigning champion Bubba Watson will be called upon to do the handover on Sunday night and you can bet he'll be passing the coat of one colour to Woods.

Tormented Tiger slumped to No.58 in the world in November 2011 but his fight back to the top was complete when he lifted the Arnold Palmer Invitational trophy last month – his third win this season.

But the American won't be resting on his laurels – not until he adds to his Major collection that hasn't been boosted since he was crowned US Open champion way back in 2008.

On Sunday he can make a space in his wardrobe for Green Jacket No.5 – unfortunately you'll need to put on a packet if you want to buy youself a new outfit.

Since climbing back to the head of the world rankings Woods has been backed in from 7-1 to a best 4-1 with William Hill and Paddy Power – and I expect him to go off shorter on Thursday when he tees up alongside Luke Donald and Scott Piercy.

World No.2 Rory McIlroy is second favourite at 9-1 with unibet and his followers will be happier after he finished runner-up to Scot Martin Laird in the Texan Open on Sunday night.

McIlroy made a late decision to play after struggling with his Nike new clubs but finished with a 66 and will arrive in Augusta with renewed hope.

Two years ago a final-round 80 denied McIlroy victory – so he has some Augusta demons to conquer.

It was good to see a smile back on Rory's face in Texas but it will take more than one or two rounds to convince me he's back to his best. I'm not backing him on the outrights but might look inrunning if he starts strongly.

Donald's another who has enjoyed an average season so Europe's biggest challenge may come from new world No.3 Justin Rose.

He finished top 10 and is in great form so take a look each way at 22-1 with unibet. He is 7-2 at Ladbrokes to finish top British and Irish player.

Lee Westwood needs to find his A game and would be a popular winner at 28-1 (various).

Phil Mickelson is third favourite at 11-1 with Coral and Paddy Power and the three-time winner is always a danger on this course. He finished tied third last year.

Americans have won eight out of the last 12 Masters and outside Tiger the best bet is probably WGC Matchplay champion Matt Kuchar who offers each-way value at 35-1 at bet365. He was joint third last year.

South Africans Charl Schwartzl and Louis Oosthuizen have both won this season and both been past Masters runners-up. They are both 28-1 with various firms.

Martin Laird putted brilliantly take Texas glory with a final-round 63 but Augusta's a different type of track and rarely does anyone win the Masters having triumphed the week before. Laird would be a speculative bet at 100-1 (various) while 300-1 shot Paul Lawrie will do well to make the cut.

Remember if you're betting each way Paddy Power are paying on six places.

Recommended Bets

Woods (4-1)

Rose ew (22-1)

Schwartzel ew (28-1)

Kuchar ew (35-1)

  1. Willie McGuire 11 years ago

    Cannot wait for the Masters to start!

    Paul Im playing Boat of Garten on Thursday – outstanding track & a corporate gig at Old Prestwick on Monday!! Sandwiched in between the masters…..what a 6 days for me!!

    Colsaerts at 100/1 & Webb Simpson (75/1) my only 2 e/w punts so far.

    • Mr Fixit 11 years ago

      Willie, I’ve heard of Boat is Garten but not played but had the pleasure of a game at Old Prestwick last year, unbelievable course. Can’t believe Dortmund have turned around that tie by the way.

  2. Willie McGuire 11 years ago

    Didnt touch Dortmund.

    Cardiff conceding in 90+6 done me for a few quid on an in play bet. Raging!

  3. the chief 11 years ago

    The masters is one of the big sporting events I would love to go to. I’m already on Tiger and Rory and if these two were in the last group on Sunday, for the fans that would be spectacular. I’m gonna be having a couple of E/W punts and I’m also gonna have a punt on the green jacket being decided in a playoff. Whatever happens it caps of a great weekend of sport.

    • Mr Fixit 11 years ago

      The Chief, one of the boys I work beside on the Record gets sent out every year and I’m very jealous. And a couple of times our reporter’s been lucky enough to picked in the draw they have for the Press guys to play the course after the event. That would be a a thrill and probably quite messy too. Clober tomorrow is enough of a test for me.

  4. WeeBanger 11 years ago

    I’m all over tiger, poor odds but I think he’s the player you want to be on.
    Tiger @ 9/2 win
    Kucher @ 40s e/w
    Bubba @ 40s e/w

  5. the chief 11 years ago

    That would be class, shows wat an opportunity that young 14yr kid has, an experience like that is priceless. I’m gonna finalize my picks tomorrow after the par 3 challenge and hoping none of my selections win that event

  6. Bryan 11 years ago

    I see Paddy are offering 4/1 for Woods to win but they’re also doing an enhanced special — Woods OR McIIroy to win at 3/1.

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