ibusinesslines.com December 18, 2018

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy star at Bay Hill

15 March 2018, 03:34 | Charlene Valdez

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy star at Bay Hill

Tiger Woods crosses a bridge to the 16th green during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando Fla. Woods keeps looking better and shot a 68 Thursday

If we learned anything from the Valspar Championship, it's that Tiger Woods is back.

The four-time Masters champion has seen his odds of winning another green jacket shorten after a fine showing at the Valspar Championship, where he finished one stroke shy of victor Paul Casey. His performance captivated golf fans, registering a 5.1 television rating.

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Known as one of Tiger Woods' friends off the course, Day was watching the 14-time major champion try to get back in the winner's circle last week.

Golf has once again been swept away by the hype that always comes when Woods plays well, courtesy of his second-place finish at the Valspar Championship in Florida.

When the dust settled, Casey, long in the clubhouse with a 65 for 10-under 274, could finally celebrate his second victory on the PGA Tour.

"I hope he keeps playing well so I can have the opportunity to fight it out on Sunday (during the final round) with him".

Sergio GarcĂ­a has welcomed the return of Tiger Woods to competitive action, but suggested that the 14-times major victor could be affected by nerves when he goes back to Augusta next month after a three-year gap.

"Now he's reintroduced into the mix". And I was going through that slide of just protecting it, playing around it.

Earlier this month, Mickelson edged Thomas in a playoff at the WGC-Mexico Championship to earn his first victory since the 2013 British Open at Muirfield. He was a solid 12th at the Honda Classic last month and now he has come tantalisingly close to notching his 80th PGA Tour win.

"It was a tough, tough road", Woods told CNN's Living Golf show in Dubai in February 2017 during a short-lived comeback.

"The least amount of pain I felt was hitting a driver".

"Just because I won here eight times doesn't mean I'm going to win this week automatically", Woods said. Over the weekend, when Woods's odds to win the Masters were still at 12/1, a gambler placed a $4,000 wager that he would win at Augusta National. I've been able to find that balance.

"So for him to come back and to be performing very well and for him to come back and the relatablility and appreciation that he has for being out there and being back in that environment with all these great young stars -- I think that is what is so compelling to people".

The next stop on his remarkable road to recovery from four years' worth of back trouble is the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the tournament he has won a record eight times on a course that feels comfortable to him.

"No one has a crystal ball, but it's a pretty neat spot for the PGA and the game of golf to be in", said Monahan.

The only time Woods missed the cut at Bay Hill was in 1994, when he was a senior in high school.

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