Pair of local teens to golf at Augusta National this weekend

"I'm just really looking forward to playing", Woods added of his return to Augusta National Golf Club.

This tournament will offer anything a storyteller or TV-watcher could want - the intrigue of Woods' return, Mickelson's stubborn excellence, Watson trying to win a third Masters from behind trees, Jordan Spieth trying to win a second despite the memory of two splashes at the 12th, and McIlroy, Johnson, Day, Thomas and Rickie Fowler trying to win a major that has eluded them.

In recent years, I've accepted his absence and said golf was fine without him.

"I've been better with each week I've competed".

"This is a little bit like a Lazarus resurrection here with respect to where he was", Steve Mona, World Golf Foundation CEO, told Reuters.

Now the fourth-ranked junior girls player in North Carolina, she has three top-five finishes this season on the PKB Girls' Golf Tour, including a win at the Orange Whip Classic in Clemson, S.C., in February.

"It's fantastic what we're seeing of Tiger".

Given that Woods played in a total of one official PGA Tour event in the past two calendar years - he missed the cut at Farmers Insurance Open 2017 - more than a few pundits were convinced he was finished. A tie for second at the Valspar Championship followed by a tie for fifth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational has Woods, 42, among the favorites to win what would be a fifth Masters though he hasn't played in the tournament since 2015. He refers to himself as "walking miracle".

Whilst it is hard to say definitively which is objectively the best major golfing tournament, with many believing The Open holds a claim as the oldest, The Masters always has a unique buzz that sets it apart as being a truly special event.

"I must say, I never thought Tiger would look this good again", Crenshaw said.

The tournament is loved by golf fans across the world and for many players has a magic that no other tournament can replicate.

A streak of 12 rounds at par or better has shown Woods has regained his health.

Rose's recent form and impressive results sequence at the Masters render him a live candidate to go one step better on Sunday evening.

"It's a lot different than the first two comebacks".

Yet victory this week is surely too much to ask given the depth of the field and the fact Woods is still working his way back. "Now he's hitting it longer than before".

"That's kind of amusing", Woods said. "Quite a shift. Six months ago the odds were I wasn't even going to play".

Harmon worked with Woods for 11 years before they fell out in 2004. "My yardage book was basically the same". Three-time victor Phil Mickelson won a World Golf Championship and had a strong West Coast Swing.

This time around, García is not considered to be one of the favourites as Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and a resurgent Tiger Woods go into Thursdays' first round as the bookies' choice.

"I've made some big strides from my past couple of tournaments".

"It's very disappointing", he said.

The event starts at the Augusta National Golf Club on Thursday.

"Azalea's first flight and she did amazingly well!"

For Nimmo, finishing second in last year's qualifier put a chip on his shoulder to get back to Augusta.

Garcia, whose Green Jacket tour included stops at Wimbledon and the El Clasico match between soccer powerhouses Barcelona and Real Madrid, said the past year had opened even his eyes to just how big the year's first major is globally.

  • Salvatore Jensen