There is no other way of putting it, Tiger Woods is having a torrid time on the course in 2014 and it is looking like a miracle is required if he is to add to his 14 major victories at the Masters.
Hampered by a bad back, Woods has endured a difficult few tournaments on the PGA Tour, failing to play the final round of the Honda Classic and then shooting his worst ever closing round at the WGC Cadillac Championship.
In fact, Woods’ best result of the PGA Tour season is a share of 25th, making this his worst start to a season across his 18 years on tour.
Although he has been resting up since the start of March, Woods is far from guaranteed to continue his record of never missing the Masters and it may well eventually come down to doctors orders if he tees up at Augusta or not.
However, Woods will still be a popular pick to win the Masters for a fifth time and despite his injury troubles, he remains the second favourite in the betting at 8/1 behind Rory McIlroy.
After all, Woods is still the world number one and has a proven pedigree of major success when the deck is stacked against him, most memorably when winning the 2008 US Open on virtually one leg.
But if he is to triumph, he will have to emulate an achievement of Nick Faldo, which dates back to 1989.
This was the last instance that a Masters winner had secured victory without having a prior top-20 finish on his resume from the PGA Tour in the same season.
One thing that is clear is that Woods has an almost unrivalled record at Augusta. In his eight Masters starts since his last victory in 2005, he has finished in the top six on seven occasions.
So even if Woods is not at 100 per cent, backing him to finish in the top 10 could prove a prudent strategy.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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