Tiger Woods at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, the first of this three wins in 2013 (Robert Beck/SI). With Tiger Woods coming in as a 3-to-1 favorite to win next week's Masters, the betting public is pretty confident Tiger is back and prowling.
But Vegas sharps aren't the only people bullish on the four-time champ's chances of adding a fifth green jacket to his wardrobe. Some guys who own a few of their own like Tiger's odds as well.
In a Golf.com poll of past Masters champions, nine out of 10 respondents picked Tiger Woods to take home hardware come Sunday evening, although Arnold Palmer hedged a bit, saying he'd take the field over Woods.
The one dissenter? 2009 winner Angel Cabrera. He chose himself ("Me!!").
Here's what some of the pros — including a few legends — had to say about their pick:
Gary Player: "Most people will not argue with Tiger Woods as the overwhelming favourite to win the Masters. Tiger is off to a great start this year with tons of momentum going into this year’s tournament. Plus, he is a phenomenal putter and to win at Augusta you have to putt well. Other favourites include Phil Mickleson, and Rory McIlroy. But I like the chances of Louis Oosthuizen, Lee Westwood, and Adam Scott. I would love to see Sergio Garcia win, but I personally feel that Tiger is due to have a great year."
Arnold Palmer: "I think there are numerous people who could take a run. I think Tiger
should be the favorite, no question. If I were arbitrary about it, I
would still take the field." Billy Casper: "Tiger. Tiger’s playing well. He’s won so many times there. He’s really playing well. It looks like Rory is starting to come into his own. With those two playing well, it would be a great Masters." Trevor Immelman: "The level is so consistently high on the PGA Tour now that it’s harder to pick winners, I believe.
Obviously with Tiger starting to play really well again, he’s going to have a couple of weeks off and will be arriving there with so much confidence knowing he’s already won the tournament four times, he’s going to be a hard guy to bet against purely because he’s won there in so many different styles in conditions. Nothing that happens there will be catching him off guard, so I imagine he’ll be pretty comfortable and hard to bet against."
Ian Woosnam: "You have to go with the form player: Tiger."
Charl Schwartzel: "I’m sure there are a lot of bookmakers around the world filling their pockets with the money of punters trying to pick golf tournament winners. It’s definitely not easy. I always feel that if I am playing my best then I have the chance to win whenever I tee it up, but I would never say that I am going to win. There are so many contenders and I suppose top of that list now would be Tiger Woods, who has had such an impressive start to the season."