Tiger Woods will move back to World No.1 for the first time in more than two years if he successfully defends the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week.
Woods has won here on seven occasions – including last year where a 5-stroke victory over Graeme McDowell was the American’s first PGA Tour win in three years.
And lifting the trophy on Sunday would end an intriguing week, even by Woods’ standard. The normally ferociously private 37-year-old announced on Monday that he and Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn are a couple, broadcasting the news to billions via social networking sites Twitter and Facebook.
Out of character? Yes. But it had to be done – and it stops the persistent questioning borne of rumour and idle gossip. By the time Woods parks himself behind a microphone later on today it will be old news and he can go back to talking about his game and the dreaded “process”.
Woods’ record at Bay Hill is nothing short of phenomenal. He won the event four years in a row from 2000 to 2003, before back-to-back triumphs in 2008 and 2009 and last year’s comeback win.
Ask Woods which course he’d want to play with the World No.1 ranking up for grabs, and this glorious country club in south-west Orlando would be right up there.
But who will he have to overcome if he is to achieve a remarkable rise back to the top? Brandt Snedeker is back from five weeks out and looking to regain the form that made him the hottest player on the planet at the start of the year.
Elsewhere, Graeme McDowell loves playing golf in the state he now calls home and will be looking to go one better than his second place in this competition 12 months ago, while the likes of Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose will all be looking to sharpen their games ahead of The Masters.
If Tiger’s going to be World No.1 again come Sunday, he’s going to have to do it the hard way.
And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Source from: golfmagic.com