"I don't know if I would phrase it the way you did", the San Diegan said, chuckling. That gives him an 11 percent chance of winning the Masters, in line with the odds being offered by the Westgate SuperBook as of Wednesday afternoon (12 to 1, tied for third choice). In 2011, riding the hype as the game's brightest new star, he led after each of the first three rounds and was still out front making the turn Sunday. He's also one of the PGA Tour's best putters and the type of gritty competitor who can make Sunday interesting.
At the time, it felt like his world had collapsed. "I think that nobody respects and appreciates what he's done for the game more because nobody's benefited from what he's done for the game of golf more than I have", said Mickelson. I mean, I have played here, and I've won here, not playing my absolute best, but there's got to be a certain part of my game that's on. It was Lefty's first victory since the 2013 Open Championship title he won in Scotland. Fifteen years removed from his 2003 victory, Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., is also in the field as a past champion. In 2014, he captured two more majors at the British Open and the PGA. When Tiger Woods takes off his hat after a round, there's a pronounced bald spot in the back and Phil Mickelson looks, well, like a guy should look as he approaches the half century mark in life.
"The reason why I say I'm a walking miracle is that I don't know of anyone who has had a lower back fusion that can swing the club as fast as I can swing it", Woods said. "Every time you get there you get goose bumps".
The build-up has ensured the 2018 tournament promises to be one of the most captivating Masters in recent years.
'When that invite comes through you've seen people take pictures of theirs in years past and for your name to be on it is something I will always cherish.
"This is my first time defending a major and a green jacket, so it's new to me", Garcia said. They're right down the street from each other, there's a party house, and friends and family are there.it's a great place for Jordan to go after a round and decompress and get away from the golf and not even have to think about The Masters.
The winning score has been higher than this in five of the last six years, and most of those tournaments played out in fairer conditions. According to Nielsen, there has been a mammoth 93 per cent increase in TV viewers for the four events in which Woods has finished inside the top 25 this year compared to last year.
The Masters : Our golfers to follow for Green Jacket glory
It would be one of the most sensational returns to the top in the history of any sport, let alone golf, given all of the awful injuries that the 42-year-old has been hit with.
McIlroy is very mindful of the history around this place. The world number seven is the same age as Palmer when he won his first Masters. This is McIlroy's 10th appearance.
Top-five tuneup results indicate the 42-year-old American could be in the hunt for a 15th career major title, what would be his first since the 2008 US Open, and a fifth green jacket. McIlroy won't turn 29 until next month. "What's going on?' Obviously, I wasn't happy", Garcia said.
Now, there's really only one thing left to do before Thursday: meet Woods.
"It's been a treat to watch him and see how he's backing himself", said Anirban Lahiri, the player Sharma replaced as India's No. 1.
'It's such a special tournament and that's a word I keep using but it really is.
"There's nothing that brings you closer than working together on a common goal like that", Mickelson said.
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