Tiger Woods is back and says he is ready to go.
If that alone is not enough to get you pumped for the 2014 British Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, there is plenty more.
Phil Mickelson is the defending champion. Rory McIlroy is growing more desperate to match his obvious potential with more consistent results in the tournaments that matter most. Martin Kaymer, fresh off his dominating performance in the U.S. Open, will be in the mix, along with a dozen or more others who have a realistic chance of winning.
But in the center of it all will be Tiger, competing in his first major since undergoing back surgery on March 31. He scoffed at the notion that it's too soon, that he isn't ready—reminding the media that he won the 2008 U.S. Open while playing with what later was diagnosed as a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament and a fractured leg.
"The Sunday before the U.S. Open, I didn’t break 50 for nine holes and still was able to win it in a playoff, with a torn ACL and a broken leg,” Woods told The New York Times. “I’ve proven I can do it."
But that was 2008, and this is 2014. The competition is arguably stiffer, and Woods, now 38, hasn't won a major since capturing that one. Read on to see about his chances, and those of others.