The Masters 2012 Preview: Can Tiger Woods Contend?

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 10: Tiger Woods looks on during the final round of the 2011 Masters Tournament on April 10, 2011 in Augusta, Georgia. Woods announced June 7, 2011 that he will not play in the U.S. Open because of an injury to his left leg. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods entered the conversation two weeks ago with his win at the Arnold Palmer, can he win his first Major Tournament in over two years at Augusta this week?

The PGA Tour has been in action for a few months now, but the first real date in the golfing calendar happens in early April every year at Augusta National in Augusta, Georgia. The 2012 Masters will get underway later this week, and the big topic of conversation is whether or not Tiger Woods will be in one of the final groups come Sunday afternoon.

After a difficult couple of years for the best golfer in the World, Tiger got back to his winning ways two weeks ago at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It was his first win since the incident with his wife during the week of Thanksgiving in 2009. Tiger has always judged himself by his performance in Major Tournaments, and this will be the first time that he has a legitimate claim to be listed among the potential favorites in two and a half years. No matter what he ends up doing at the Masters this week, expect him to dominate the coverage.

But Tiger won't be the only notable player in the field this week. World No. 1 and reigning U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy is probably the next biggest name; and considering his collapse at the Masters last year he will be an interesting storyline to follow as well. And let's not forget guys like Dustin Johnson, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Justin Rose and of course, Phil Mickelson. Should be a pretty fun week at Augusta, but then again, isn't it always?

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