The Masters 2011: Is Tiger Woods ever going to win again?
Tiger Woods isn't the favorite to win the Masters 2011. That honor falls to Phil Mickelson. In fact, Tiger Woods may have peaked professionally. This week's Masters golf tournament may be the most critical test of Woods' golf career.
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Woods responded crisply at a press conference: "Poulter's always right, isn't he?"Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Masters 2011 golf tournament
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The Masters favorites this week?
Phil Mickelson is the odds-on favorite. He's got momentum and also plays well at Augusta. He posted a 20-under-par victory last week at the Shell Houston Open. Last year, Mickleson won his third green jacket at Augusta.
"Watney has cracked the Top 10 in five of six tournaments so far and has one win already, at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral last month. Watney finished seventh at Augusta last season and this could be his time to break through," said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com.
Other favorites to watch: German Martin Kaymer, the current world's No. 1 ranked player. But Kaymer hasn't played well at Augusta, yet. Dustin Johnson is also playing well this year. And Lee Westwood, who finished just behind Mickleson at Augusta in 2010, has his supporters.
Woods may yet be a contender, too. Woods always plays well at Augusta. Even last year, still in the throes of his downward personal and professional spiral, he managed to finish fourth.
Woods has won all of his majors by going into the final round in the lead. He gets in the lead, and keeps it by not making mistakes in the final round. That's the Tiger Woods of old.
But if Woods doesn't perform well at Augusta, it will be seen as further evidence that that Tiger is no more.
Round One of the Masters will be televised Thursday on ESPN at 3 p.m. ET.