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Augustas competitive blur

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Earlier this week John Cook and Arjun Atwal proclaimed Tiger Woods’ game ready for Augusta National after a series of rounds with the embattled world No. 1 recently at Isleworth.

But then splitting fairways at your home club and picking your buddy’s pockets is entirely different than playing 72 holes with green jacket No. 5 on the line. Nobody slips on a “game face” better than Woods and anyone with a Tour card agrees that if any player can show up at Augusta National cold and still win it is Woods, but competition, particularly of the Grand Slam variety, is different.

“It would be tough for me to do that,” Brandt Snedeker said at Bay Hill. “That said, Tiger Woods is used to doing that. He’s used to coming out cold for tournaments. If anyone can do it he can, especially at Augusta where feel is such a big issue. He’s got a great feel for the place.”

The bigger issue will be how Woods handles his emotions when the bell rings on Thursday. Players often talk about being in the “zone,” when everything seems to slow down and the hole looks like a basketball hoop, but when things aren’t quite right a player has a tendency to speed up.

“It’s never the same (on the practice range),” Snedeker said. “It’s why you can’t recreate it on the range. Everything has a different speed. But Woods and all the great ones can slow everything down instead of it being a blur.”