Arnold Palmer Invitational: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy star at Bay Hill

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy star at Bay Hill

That followed 12th place on his previous start and has led to the 14-time major victor being installed as favourite for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, an event he has won eight times, including on his last appearance in 2013.

Woods not only feels supremely confident on the track, but cherishes the time spent with Palmer, who traditionally greeted the tournament victor on the last green in the city Woods formerly called home. But I've got to do some serious homework to really get to know and get the feel of how this golf course is playing this particular year, considering I haven't played here in five years.

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Former world number one Tiger Woods moved back into the world's top 150 on Monday (Tuesday in Manila), after falling just short in his bid for a first title since 2013 at the Valspar Championship. "As a whole, I felt very good about what I did this week".

"It's exciting that probably the greatest player ever is back and there's a lot more interest in golf now than four months ago". The Westgate SuperBook on Monday installed Woods as the 13-2 favorite to win at Bay Hill, where he has won eight times previously.

Last week at the Valspar Championship outside Tampa, he tied for second place - his best finish since August of 2013.

As Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, and Irishmen Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington, struggle to find consistency, Woods is the bookies' favourite for an event he has already won eight times.

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"Just keep getting better", replied the 14-time major victor when asked about his expectations for this week, which he starts in the company of Australian Jason Day and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama in the opening two rounds.

"Each and every week I've learned from what I've done and more importantly I'm learning my body", he continued. I'm learning how I can swing it and not swing it. these are all things that are new.

"He's swinging hard, as good as I've seen him back in the day, and he's swinging with confidence".

"I think that you're starting to see the fruits of that now of the little tweaks I've made and I'm excited about it".

Woods, meanwhile, kept his eye on the long game as he prepares for the April 5-8 Masters at Augusta National. "I love it. And I know how to play it", said the four-time Masters champion.

Just like he used to do when the pressure was on and it was a must-make to win the tournament.