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The Masters Will Be Tiger's True Test

Commentary by Ed Veit

One tournament does not a dominant golfer make.

Tiger Woods looked like his old self when he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational March 25. His drives were long and when he got into trouble, his old creativity appeared to be recovered, and his putting was steady.

Woods was his old confident self, but is he satisfied with his life? His personal life is still in shambles; he hires and fires swing coaches and caddies.

A win at Bay Hills does present the same pressure as playing at Augusta. If, in fact, if Woods is in one of the last two groups teeing off on Masters Sunday, April 8, he's back.

Woods will faceĀ  competition from Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 winner, and Rory McIlroy, who is poised to make up for his 2011 meltdown, when he shot an 80 during the final round -- he was nearly a reminder of Greg Norman's famous loss to Nick Faldo.

Another young lion Woods has to deal with is Luke Donald. The field is not the same as the one Woods left two years ago -- it's younger and stronger, and that has been the Woods influence on golf. He made everyone on the PGA Tour, or who wanted to be on the tour, take their game up another notch. Woods needs another win to tie Jack Nicklaus with the most tour wins at 73. He will not get it at the Masters.

Look for some old-timer to be in the hunt early -- possibly Jim Furyk. But Ernie Els, Lee Westwood or Phil Mickelson will likely emerge as the winner.

Posted April 2, 2012