Win, lose or not even here, Woods always in Masters spotlight

Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka

"We were trying to balance providing the women competitors with the opportunity to be at Augusta National, to have a championship decided at Augusta National, but yet be cognizant of the fact that we were just a few days away from the Masters Tournament", he said.

Rory McIlroy has said he is using meditation and juggling to help prepare for the Masters, as he attempts to complete golf's grand slam of majors at Augusta National this week.

He enters the 2019 Masters with three consecutive top-10 finishes, including a 10th-place finish past year.

Now, having played for over a year without any real issues with his back, the target is for Woods to try and win another major with more expectation this time around.

"I don't think I've ever started a season this well in terms of finishes, and even stats wise, looking at all my stats, they are right up there with some of the best years that I've had", said McIlroy, whose seven top-10 finishes in seven starts this year include a victory at the US PGA Tour's prestigious Players Championship in March. "So I came here four days last week and did a lot of course-work prep", Mickelson said Tuesday at the Masters.

"No matter what the issue is, you know, we can always look back and say we could do better".

"This is my 11th year here", the Northern Irishman added.

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Augusta National Golf Club's green jacket isn't the only prize that awaits the victor of this year's Masters Tournament in Georgia. "And I would never rule him out".

Nowhere does the Tiger mystique hang over an event more than at the Masters. Just 87 players are competing this year at Augusta National, and you can break that number down further, excluding numerous past champions (seven are over 50) and the six amateurs, not to mention a collection of lower ranking or struggling tour professionals, and you're left with only around half the field who could genuinely claim victory, but even a fair bunch of them can be considered unlikely winners at best.

The trio are followed 11 minutes later by five-time major victor Phil Mickelson, world number one golfer Justin Rose and Justin Thomas.

"I think that winning at (the Tour Championship) confirmed to me that I could still win again", Woods said.

"I'm not going to go and live with the monks for a couple months in Nepal, it's 10 minutes a day", McIlroy side in a fascinating pre-tournament interview.

That library will be open for business as Woods begins play in his 22nd Masters.

Jordan Spieth, who won the first of his three major titles to date at the 2015 Masters, sits off the pace at +2200 on the Masters odds. I get a rush out of pulling off shots that sometimes I only dreamed about pulling off, and to see some of the reactions.

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