All Eyes on Tiger In His Return To Augusta

Golf Betting OddsApril 8-11 will see the return of the world's finest golfer to his sport.

After being besieged by a sex scandal of almost Royal proportions, Tiger Woods returns to professional golf following a five month hiatus. While the scandal continues to draw headlines, the worst of it appears largely to have blown over. However, neither Masters odds makers nor media pundits expected a quiet return to Augusta for Tiger.

A perennial sportsbook favorite, Tiger Woods is expected to do big things at the tournament this year, despite the fact he is coming off such a long layoff. It is important to understand that such a long layoff is cryptonite for most golfers. Woods has been out of competition the nearly five months since the media firestorm erupted around his slow-motion car crash, and revealed his infidelities and marital woes.

While it is true that many are pointing to the time off and sex scandal as being nagging distractions that will keep Woods from dominating in his return, sports book pundits are largely pointing to his established history of dominance. In 2008, Woods won the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines coming off a two-month layoff due to knee surgery. The golf prodigy played the tournament in obvious pain from a stress fracture, yet still managed to trounce his competition, and take the top spot overall. He spent the rest of the year recovering from his injury. However, in 2006, Woods took time to deal with the death of his father and earliest mentor in the sport that became his profession. Upon his return, he missed the cut to compete in the U.S. Open.

When you look at the reasons for the layoff, and the stress and uncertainty facing the man, sportsbooks couldn't be surprised by a stumble in his return performance at the Masters. Most onlookers, however, are prognosticating a more triumphant return. In the weeks leading up to the tournament, colleagues including Arjun Atwal, and vanguards of the sport like Jack Nicklaus have come out in support of Woods. Nicklaus once claimed that Woods would win ten green jackets, and, when recently asked, announced his confidence in Tiger's ability to shock the world.

Another vanguard of the sport and inventor of one of the finest beverages to ever be enjoyed on a golf course, Arnold Palmer, had some advice for Woods vis-a-vis the media: Open up. It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, the media has on Woods during actual tournament play.

Regardless of how Woods does in Augusta, most fans of sports betting believe that the top golfer will be able to return to his dominating form, regardless of what plays out in his personal life. The practice rounds, taking place this week, should give spectators some idea of what they can expect from Woods at Augusta this year.

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