The 2012 Masters will officially get underway on Thursday, but four-time green jacket winner Tiger Woods is already the betting favorite. Should he manage to win, not only will he be one step closer to matching Jack Nicklaus' record of six Masters titles, but the victory would be his 73rd career PGA Tour win, tying him with Nicklaus for second on the all-time list.
With all that riding on his shoulders, Woods is coming off his first tournament win in two years and appears to be in good spirits. Bob Harig of ESPN.com reports that Woods is ready for this year's event at Augusta.
"I certainly am excited about playing and really looking forward to getting out there and playing," Woods said Tuesday after a nine-hole practice round with Fred Couples and Sean O'Hair. "I feel like I'm driving the ball much better than I have. I've got some heat behind it, and it's very straight.
"My iron game is improving. So everything is headed in the right direction at the right time."
At his Tuesday press conference, Woods certainly appeared more relaxed and confident than he has in years. If he can manage to take home the green jacket, it will put to rest any whispers about his career being over.