Alexa

Tiger prowls again among the pines at Masters practice

Tiger prowls again among the pines at Masters practice

Tiger Woods, whose uncontrolled lust for women led to an epic downfall, began his attempt to reclaim golf supremacy and respectability with a Sunday practice at a club with no women members.
Anticipation filled Magnolia Lane as Woods was among players arriving Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club while the world beyond the gates prepared for a Monday news conference by world number one Woods.
Woods will face his first inquest from other than hand-picked reporters yesterday and play in front of a gallery after a layoff of nearly five months on a famed course where he has won four times, most recently in 2005. "I'm excited to get back and play. I miss competing," said Woods, who is set to practice with Fred Couples on Monday and pal Mark O'Meara later in the week.
Woods, a married father of two, has admitted cheating on wife Elin, a former model, and more than a dozen women have claimed relationships with Woods in a sex scandal that destroyed his good-guy reputation.
Some wonder if Woods can begin to rehabilitate his image. Others are curious if he can still bring the focus and form that have helped him win 14 major golf titles, four shy of the all-time record held by Jack Nicklaus.
Ben Hogan's 1951 and 1953 victories are the only times a player has won the Masters in his debut event of the season, a feat Woods is trying to match.
"The guy is working. The guy will be ready to play," Colombian golf star Camilo Villegas said. "He's a smart guy. He will do everything he can to come back and win.
"Come back and win the Masters? It would be a tough one, but I'm not the number one player in the world."
Still more want to see who might heckle the man whose infidelity destroyed a life most aspired to match. "I'm a little nervous about that," Woods said. "It would be nice to hear a couple claps here or there."
And many of the rivals of Woods are happy that the embattled star is on the verge of turning the page on his sordid saga and getting back to golf.
"I want all this to just get over with," world number two Steve Stricker said. "I'm bored of it quite frankly," said England's Ian Poulter. "I'm tired of talking about it."
Woods once seemed invincible when leading in the final rounds, but whether that aura survives his latest struggles is among the many unanswered questions to be explored among the pine trees, blooming flowers and undulating greens of Augusta.