Friday 20 April 2018

Former Masters champion expects Tiger Woods to be in the mix for another green jacket on Sunday

Tiger Woods backed to challenge for another green jacket. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Tiger Woods backed to challenge for another green jacket. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Nick Faldo believes a rejuvenated Tiger Woods will "threaten" for a 15th major title and first in a decade in this week's Masters.

Woods attended the annual Champions Dinner at Augusta National last year but was in pain from leg and back injuries and did not compete for the third time in four years.

The 14-time major winner subsequently underwent spinal fusion surgery, his fourth back operation in the space of three years, but returned to action in December and is among the favourites for the first major of the season after finishing 12th, second and fifth in his last three starts on the PGA Tour.

"He's going to threaten," three-time Masters winner Faldo told PGA Tour.com.

"He has the potential. His game is amazing. I think he's ahead of schedule. He's been in there competing for the last couple of events. That's the most important thing, you've got to climb that ladder and scare yourself."

Woods, 42, finished a shot behind England's Paul Casey in the Valspar Championship and was in contention for a record ninth victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational until hooking his tee shot out of bounds on the 16th hole of the final round.

"If he really can put a finger on why that one is happening (and) erase that...wow, he will definitely be in there," Faldo added. "How he's found five more miles per hour in club head speed in his 40s after a fused back is unbelievable."

Woods last won a major in the 2008 US Open, beating Rocco Mediate in a play-off despite a stress fracture of the leg and knee injury which ended his season two days later.

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