So what was the verdict on Tiger’s Augusta comeback? In my view, finishing fourth when so obviously miles below his best just, illustrated how superior a back-to-form Woods would be, and we must assume he will be much better prepared for this week’s challenge.
However, the inaccuracy off the tee that plagued his Augusta performance was a weakness long before his personal problems, and that could prove costly around here. Tiger has won at Quail Hollow, though a return of one win from four tries only reflects his 7/2 price tag. Of course he may win, but this isn’t really the type of course where his odds ever represent particularly great value.
Mickelson‘s army of supporters are bound to be out in force on his first start since that superb Masters triumph. Certainly, as he’s made the top seven on four out of six tries at Quail Hollow, he has the game to win here too. A word of caution, though. Prior to Augusta, he’d been poor. During the Masters, he told an interviewer how much he loved that venue because it gave him room off the tee. That will be much less the case at Quail Hollow, so a repeat performance is far from guaranteed.
With driving accuracy more important here than at Augusta, there’s every chance Westwood can gain revenge for his near-miss in the Masters. After three consecutive top three finishes in Major championships, a career-defining breakthrough appears imminent, so a victory either this week or next will see his odds for the US Open tumble fast.
After winning two of his last four events, ending a dry run stretching back three years in the process, Furyk must rate a massive candidate on a course where he’s already won and finished second before. The only negative for me is that, having never been a prolific winner in the past, it may not be his turn again for a while.
Watney is another winner in waiting. He’s been playing well just outside contention for months, and top sevens at Copperhead and Augusta confirmed that wellbeing. However, he generally saves his best for courses where his extra power offers a greater advantage than it will at Quail Hollow.