Let’s get this out of the way up front: Tiger Woods is not going to win the Masters this weekend.
Yes, he has four green jackets in his closet (assuming Elin didn’t get any in the divorce). And yes, he’s shown flashes of his old self this season.
But Woods isn’t going to win this one.
Regardless, he’s still been the talk of Augusta National going into today’s first-round play.
No other current golfer — and perhaps no other golfer ever — has been able to inspire the kind of interest Woods has during the kind of losing streak in which he’s mired.
Will he win? Will he choke? Is he poised for a comeback? Is he finished?
All things considered, it seems, there’s a fear of counting him out. Despite his on- and off-course struggles, he’s still an 8-1 second choice in the Vegas lines this weekend — lower odds than anyone not named “Mickelson.”
“[His chances are] always good any tournament he plays,” said Martin Kaymer (odds: 20-1).
That Woods’ namesake video game includes Augusta this year has only increased the chatter.
Even given Woods’ difficulties, the club isn’t having second thoughts about that.
“We continue to believe Tiger is one of the greatest golfers of all time, and we hoped and prayed that his comeback would go forward in a very positive way,” club chairman Billy Payne said.