Masters 2012 Preview: Tiger Woods Heads Back To Augusta As Favorite

Tiger Woods earned his first PGA Tour win in nearly three years two weeks ago at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and the momentum from that victory and his past success at The Masters has helped install Woods as the betting favorite at the 2012 edition of golf's first major.

But Woods, the prohibitive favorite for a dozen or so iterations of The Masters, may have to fend off Rory McIlroy, the rising star whose final-round collapse at Augusta was the story of the tournament in 2011 and whose fantastic game could make him the golfing world's next dominant figure in the Woods mold.

And Woods and McIlroy will have to take on a typically unforgiving Augusta National course and outpace the rest of a deep field, too.

Here's the schedule for the 2012 The Masters.

2012 The Masters Schedule

Monday, April 2: Practice Round

Gates open at 8 a.m., gates close at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 3: Practice Round

Gates open at 8 a.m., gates close at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 4: Practice Round and Par 3 Contest

Gates open at 8 a.m., gates close at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Par 3 Contest begins at approximately 12:30 p.m. (Live coverage on ESPN from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.)

Thursday, April 5: First Round

Gates open at 7 a.m., gates close 30 minutes after play

Live coverage on ESPN from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Friday, April 6: Second Round

Gates open at 8 a.m., gates close 30 minutes after play

Live coverage on ESPN from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 7: Third Round

Gates open at 8 a.m., gates close 30 minutes after play

Live coverage on CBS from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday, April 8: Final Round

Gates open at 8 a.m., gates close 30 minutes after Presentation Ceremony

Live coverage on ESPN from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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