The following is a guest post by Phil Oscarson.
If someone told you five years ago that Tiger Woods would be the favorite to win the 2013 Masters, your reaction might have been something along the lines of "well, duh." But no one could have predicted what would occur in the next few years for the golf superstar, including a scandal, a divorce from his wife, and the most surprising of all, a dramatic loss of form that has led to a 0-14 run in major tournaments. But this year has seen the reemergence of the Tiger of old, and Woods is the in-form golfer going into the Masters, helped by the recent struggles of Rory McIlroy. But what exactly would another Masters win mean for Tiger Woods?
He's back to his best
When someone has reached such lofty heights as Tiger Woods has during his career, he has the unfortunate problem of constant comparisons with his former self. However, a win at a Major is a pretty good indication that, even if he is not quite back to the level that he reached before, he is somewhere close. At the very least, it will complete the return of Woods as the world's number one current golfer.
Keeping with tradition
With two tournament wins already this year at Torrey Pines and Doral, Woods would be keeping with his own tradition of following up those two victories with one at Augusta. He would also be keeping up the tradition of American winners at the Masters, holding off McIlroy, the British second favorite and world number one.
A little bit closer to the Golden Bear
Ever since he won his first major, people have been comparing Tiger Woods to golf legend Jack Nicklaus. And for a while it seemed that his record of 18 majors was going to be surpassed by Woods in no time at all. However, Tiger has been stalled on 14 for the past four years; could the 2013 Masters be that elusive number 15? Nicklaus himself has stated that he believes that Woods will surpass his record by quite a bit. A win at Augusta would also be Woods' fifth Green Jacket, putting him just one behind Nicklaus.
There is more to come
Before the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Woods showed his true competitive spirit when he stated that "I don't want to be as good as I once was, I want to become better." And if he wins at the 2013 Masters, you better believe that there will be more to follow. At least there will have to be if he is going to break that Jack Nicklaus record.
He's still the best
A win at the Masters would secure Woods' place at the top of the world rankings, and establish that he is still the best golfer currently on the tour. Rory McIlroy might still have to wait his turn.
Phil Oscarson is a freelance writer for americangolf.com. If you’re looking to improve your game, or simply find a course near you, follow the link. If Phil isn't playing or talking about golf, he's soaking up the nice southern California sun.