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Arnold Palmer Invitational Victory Sets Tiger Woods Up For Possible Masters Run

I would like to start out saying that the thesis behind this article at SB Nation.com, that Tiger Woods isn't officially "back" until he wins a Major Tournament, is absolutely right. I win in the Arnold Palmer Invitational does not signal that. But what it does do is make the upcoming 2012 Masters a whole heck of a lot more intriguing. The Masters doesn't need a lot of help generating excitement, but it just added a pretty attractive story line on Sunday.

What Tiger Woods showed on Sunday is that he can play a controlled, consistent four rounds of golf. We hadn't seen that so far in his return. His performance on Sunday was cool and calculated, calm and consistent. He wasn't trying to shoot a 61 because he didn't have to. He knew Graeme McDowell needed to catch him, and he simply played keep-away. He hadn't had the control to do that very frequently in the recent past.

Now he might not be the favorite to win the Masters in a couple of weeks, but coming off a victory against a pretty deep field, he might join the conversation. And it is very good for golf when Tiger Woods is part of that conversation. Sundays are just more interesting when he is part of the mix, and now there is hope he can be in that position at the Masters. We probably couldn't say that this time last week, and that is exciting.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.