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Spotlight on Woods at Augusta

other Updated: Apr 05, 2012 00:38 IST

Reuters
Highlight Story

While this week's Masters is one of the most anticipated in years with so many players bringing good form to Augusta National, Tiger Woods once again commands the spotlight.

The former world number one has a renewed spring in his step after ending a 30-month title drought on the PGA Tour with a win at last month's Arnold Palmer Invitational and is unquestionably the player to beat at a venue where he triumphed four times.

Woods has been installed as a 4-1 favourite by British bookmakers Ladbrokes to win his 15th major title on Sunday and he exuded a quiet confidence when he spoke to reporters after playing nine holes in practice yesterday. "I certainly am excited about playing and really looking forward to getting out there," the 36-year-old American said of Thursday's opening round.

"I feel like I'm driving the ball much better than I have. I've got some heat behind it, and it's very straight. My iron game is improving so everything is headed in the right direction at the right time."

US Open champ Rory McIlroy and three-times Masters winner Phil Mickelson are among those competing this week.