Arnold Palmer Invitational 2012: Tiger Woods Ready to Rise Up PGA Rankings

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 25:  Tiger Woods of the USA plays his second shot at the par 4, first hole during the final round of the 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard at Bay Hill Club and Lodge on March 25, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

“It does feel good, it feels really good.”

Tiger Woods is officially back and is feeling great.

He won the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday shooting 13-under par, clinching it with a two-under 70 on Sunday for his first victory on the tour in 30 months.  Graeme McDowell finished second at nine-under and Ian Poulter placed third at six-under. Phil Mickelson was tied for 24th at one-under.

Woods looked like the Tiger of old as he hit greens with regularity and more importantly, was putting very well to earn his seventh career title at Bay Hill.

The big issue for Woods recently has been his inability to sink even the easiest of putts. It’s clearly been a mental hurdle, but he was able to leap over it this week.

Now he has his confidence back. The last 30 months have probably felt like an eternity for Woods, and finally the monkey has been lifted off his back. The Master’s is less than two weeks away and it seems like everything is finally coming together. He appears to be very comfortable now with his re-vamped swing and is crushing the ball off the tee.

Some members of the media are looking at the win as a resurrection of sorts. ESPN’s Rick Riley had just a tad bit of hyperbole with this tweet:

Had guys tell me not only wouldn't Tiger win another major, he wouldn't win another tournament. So wrong. He could win 25 more.

— Rick Reilly (@ReillyRick) March 25, 2012

Some of the pressure heading into the Master’s has been lifted, but let’s remember this isn’t a major tournament. It’s going to be a zoo at Augusta and there is no way to predict how he will react to it. Can’t wait to find out.

The golf world is better when Woods is winning and now the hype for Augusta can officially begin. Woods is going to be the favorite to win it, and if he plays the same way he did this past week…that’s a smart bet to make.