Bet on Tiger Winning the Masters

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The bookies are starting to bail out on Tiger Woods. And I dont think this is fair. They should know they are playing with fire. How many times have we learned to never say never when it comes to Woods, especially when it comes to major championships?
 
Anyway, at this time last year, the published odds on Woods winning the Masters were as low as 7/5. And he was still recovering from off-season knee surgery. As of this week, there were published odds on Woods winning the Masters that were as high as 4/1.
 
Woods is still the favorite, mind you. But its no secret hes struggling with his swing. And thats whats got the bookies nervous. Which, by the way, is a good thing? Let them be nervous.
 
I think the only healthy place for gambling in golf is on the first tee of your regular foursome. Office pools for the big tournaments are OK, too. A Calcutta at your clubs member-guest? All right, I suppose.
 
But when it comes to Tiger Woods, bet against him at your own peril. The following are 18 good reasons why Woods will win his fourth Masters next week:
 
1.) Hes still the best player in the field.
 
2.) The course fits his eye.
 
3.) He was No. 1 in driving distance last week at The Players Championship.
 
4. He has the best short game in golf.
 
5. He has the best looking fianc in golf.
 
6. Were still waiting for the next Tiger Woods.
 
7. Michelle Wie is a female and still only 14 years old.
 
8. Tom Watson is 54. Jack Nicklaus is 64. Arnold Palmer is 74.
 
9. Woods is still angry that his Stanford Cardinal basketball team, the No. 1 seed in the West, lost in the second round of the NCAA basketball tournament to Alabama.
 
10. Woods is slightly hurt. He had a wrap on his left quadriceps left week (Beware the wounded warrior).
 
11. Its not about money.
 
12. Woods belongs to the private club, Isleworth in Orlando, with the best team in all of golf. And he doesnt even play on that team.
 
13. He learned last year that driver off the third tee is not the play on that hole. Never the play on that hole.
 
14. He is the only player in the field good enough to win this tournament without his A game.
 
15. He has learned to contend for tournaments without feeling the need to tell the media he didnt have his A game.
 
16. Woods will have a private chef preparing his meals during the week.
 
17. Woods noticed that all the attention to the Slam this year was devoted to Annika Sorenstam. Now that that dream has died, Tiger is the only legitimate candidate out there.
 
18. Woods doesn't drink the week of major championships.
 
There are more reasons, too. Woods is stubborn at times. I think he would like to show the golf world he can win a Masters without the help of a swing coach (although, personally, I think a tune-up with Butch Harmon would only help).
 
So there you have it: This will be the Masters Woods wins that too many people thought he wouldnt. Thats the way the golf gods work.
 
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt