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Woods primed for Augusta challenge

ESPN staff
April 9, 2013 « Ronaldo ignites Istanbul, Dortmund stun Malaga | Chartbeat test »

ESPN will be providing live commentary during all four days of the Masters from Augusta National - along with all the news, views and opinion when it gets underway on Thursday.

World No. 1 Tiger Woods is determined to lift The Masters this week at Augusta and end his run without a major.

The 37-year-old American last tasted success at a major back in 2008 when he won the US Open for a third time, and it is eight years since he triumphed at The Masters.

And ahead of the opening major of 2013, Woods has warned the rest of the field he is in good form as the favourite at Augusta.

"I feel very balanced. I feel comfortable with every aspect of my game. I feel that I've improved and I've got more consistent, and hopefully I can continue it this week and the rest of the year," Woods said.

Woods is gunning for his 15th major, and has admitted he is thinking of Jack Nicklaus' record total of 18.

"I would like to be able to get to that point," he said. "It took Jack Nicklaus a while to get to 18, all the way until he was 46-years-old. So there's plenty of opportunities for me. We have very expansive careers and I feel like I'm basically right in the middle of mine. I have a lot of good years ahead of me and I'm excited about this week."

Woods came to The Masters as the favourite 12 months ago, but floundered under the pressure as he endured the worst finish of his career by coming home in tied-40th.

"I put myself in the mix every year but last year, and that's the misleading part," he said. "It's not like I've been out of there with no chance of winning this championship. I've been there, and unfortunately just haven't got it done. I've made runs to get myself in it. I've been there in the mix on the back nine, either not executed, not made enough putts or didn't take care of the par fives, or whatever it may be," Woods said.

After problems with his personal life dominated the headlines rather than his play in the past couple of years, Woods returned to the top spot in the rankings last month by overtaking Rory McIlroy and has notched up three wins on the Tour in 2013. Woods also revealed he is looking forward to what lies ahead in the future.

"I'm excited that at this point in my career that I've been able to get healthy and to be able to give myself another chance," he said.

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