Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
With a recent win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Tiger Woods finally reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in the world.
For the first time in a long time, Woods is the clear-cut favorite to win the Masters.
In 2013, he's already won three times on the PGA Tour, including the Farmers Insurance Open, Cadillac Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational. There's just an air about Tiger that looks different this spring.
His game looks as sharp as ever, as does his mental focus for the first time since things went downhill for him, personally and professionally, following the infamous November 2009 car accident.
Statistically speaking, as of March 28, Woods is No. 1 in total putting (34.8), eagles (48), strokes gained putting (1.48), scoring average (68.33), front nine scoring average (33.25), scoring average before cut (67.88) and par five birdie or better leaders (64.29 percent).
The numbers speak for themselves, supporting the claim that Woods is primed to win his fifth Masters with him back at the top of his game.
However, the Woods camp is probably a little concerned about the golfer's following 2013 stats: No. 109 in back nine scoring average (35.63), No. 117 in final round scoring average (71.75), No. 120 in greens in regulation fairway (45.5 percent) and No. 142 in driving accuracy percentage (55.80).
If Tiger can get past his recent troubles at Augusta and win his first major since the 2005 U.S. Open, it'll be largely because he conquered his back-nine demons in majors.
ESPN's Bob Harig suggested of what Woods must overcome to win at Augusta this year:
There are, of course, no guarantees. Last year proved that. And three previous times, Woods had three PGA Tour victories going to the Masters, and did not prevail, the latest in 2008 -- when he won four of his six starts in an injury-shortened year.
In 2012, Woods' difficulty with major championships was pronounced. Beside the Masters finish, he was the 36-hole leader at both the U.S. Open and PGA Championship and didn't finish in the top 10; and at the Open Championship, he couldn't make a weekend move, although he did tie for third.
Despite his poor performance at the Masters last year (tied for 40th), since 1997, Tiger has 10 top-five finishes. Furthermore, the world No. 1 golfer finished outside of the top 15 at Augusta National only three times.
Assuming Woods has a productive weekend and a strong back nine in the final round at the Masters, it will be tough to bet against him winning.
That being said, there are a host of other golfers poised to challenge him.