Tiger Woods is relishing playing at the Masters for the first time in three years, having made further impressive progress in his comeback at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The 42-year-old's wait for a first win since 2013 continued at Bay Hill but, after finishing tied-second at the Valspar Championship, his tied-fifth performance in Florida in a field of supreme quality was another huge step forward in his bid to return to the top.
Successive rounds of 69 over the weekend saw the American finish 10 under par, eight strokes behind winner Rory McIlroy.
A four-time winner of the green jacket, Woods' revival has led him to be placed among the favourites for glory at Augusta, where he finished tied for 17th in his last appearance at the season-opening major in 2015.
Speaking about his return to the Georgia course, Woods told a post-tournament media conference: "I'm looking forward to it. I miss playing there, I've been there for the dinner and as great as that is, it's frustrating knowing that I'm, I would have to say, young enough to play the event, where some of the other champions are not, and I just have not been able to physically do it, which is difficult.
"I've had a lot of success there, too, so really looking forward to getting up there and doing a bit of work and getting a feel for the golf course and basically feel for playing that style of golf again."
It was a great two weeks of being in contention again. I feel like I'm getting a little better. Great playing by Rory today to win at the King's place. Arnie would have been proud of golf today and the charges!!!— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) March 19, 2018
His glittering career having been derailed by a series of surgeries on his back, Woods is working on his swing without a coach, and is using a simplistic approach akin to that of a baseball player.
"A lot of it is feel. As I said to you guys before, I don't know anyone who has had a lower back fusion L-5, S-1 who can go north of 120 miles an hour," he added.
"So it's really no one I can go to on something like that. I'm very young to have this surgery. The average age is 58 and I was pretty young at 41.
"So I had to do this on feel and I still am. The good news is I'm trusting my hands, my hands are telling me what to do. It's just like baseball, you're in the box and you just trust your hands. That's how I grew up playing and it's what I'm doing right now."
|Kaizer Chiefs ´worried about safety of players´ as coach quits after rioting|
|Elneny injury sparks World Cup fear|
|Arsenal aiming to give Wenger the perfect send off - Mertesacker|
|Chelsea v Southampton: Giroud wins Wembley nod over Morata|
|Don´t go to China, come to Betis! - Setien lauds Barcelona legend Iniesta|
|Argentina midfielder Biglia suffers ´severe´ back injury in Milan defeat|
|Departing Wenger hints at end-of-season reveal amid reports of sacking|
|Farah sets new British record as Kipchoge wins London Marathon|
|Neymar walking without crutches|
|Ozil ill, Aubameyang benched as Arsenal target momentum ahead of Atletico|
|I make the decisions - Sweden coach wants Ibrahimovic talks on World Cup|
|Investment not necessary for United to challenge City – Lukaku|
|So close, but so far away – Vorm laments another Spurs failure|
|Melbourne Victory 2 Adelaide United 1: Berisha stunner seals last-four spot|
|Sharks upset Panthers as Eels finally get off the mark|
|Lopes: A return to Man City? My present is Monaco but the future belongs to God|
|Jaguares catch out Brumbies in Canberra|
|Montella urges Sevilla to use Copa setback as motivation|
|Zheng topples Wang in Zhengzhou final|
|Rakitic desperate for Iniesta stay|
|Jardim one of the best in the world – Lopes praises Monaco boss amid interest|
|Napoli refusing to give up on Scudetto dream|
|It´s a good time for Iniesta to leave Barca, says father|
|Athletics´ Manaea no-hits Red Sox, Darvish struggles once again|
|Pelicans reach second round, 76ers take 3-1 lead and T-Wolves down Rockets|
|MLS Review: Five-star LAFC, Dynamo headline goal frenzy as Atlanta silence Ibra´s Galaxy|
|Busch pulls away to claim third successive NASCAR win|
|Sanchez hails legendary Wenger ahead of Arsenal exit|
|Valverde: Nothing behind Iniesta substitution amid growing CSL links|
|White Sox´s Farquhar in critical condition after brain haemorrhage|
|Cubs place Ben Zobrist on 10-day DL|
|Hoffenheim boss Nagelsmann dismisses Arsenal and Chelsea links|
|Johnson, Landry tied for Texas lead as Mullinax sets course record|
|Gattuso, Mirabelli apologise to Milan fans after ´embarrassing´ Benevento loss|
|Marquez to start fourth after being stripped of Austin pole|
|Iniesta to make decision on his future public ´this week´|
|United want to win everything next year, says Wembley hero Sanchez|
|Cardiff edge Forest to boost promotion push|
|Bartomeu confirms Iniesta has an ´offer´ amid Chinese Super League reports|
|Messi second player to score in five Copa finals|
|Khan makes up for lost time with 40-second Lo Greco knockout|
|Mourinho challenges Alexis after Wembley star turn|
|Vieira ready for Arsenal job, says Guardiola|
|FA Cup win would represent successful season - Conte|
|Guardiola: I want Manchester City to be a Premier League machine|
|Marquez crashes before taking controversial pole in Austin|
|Sevilla 0 Barcelona 5: Suarez and Messi lead crushing Copa final win|
|Defending champion Selby dumped out in first round|
|AC Milan 0 Benevento 1: Rossoneri suffer again as bottom side stave off relegation...for now|
|Ulster stay alive in dramatic fashion as Bellini sparkles for Zebre|
|Semi-final pain for frustrated Kane|
|London stay was crucial to FA Cup Wembley win - Mourinho|
|Pochettino: Spurs need four more years – with me or another|
|Kaepernick honoured with Amnesty International award|
|He has not delivered optimal performances - Stoger explains Schmelzer omission|
|Kvitova and Pliskova put Czechs in control|
|Modric open to Ibrahimovic union in MLS|
|Spurs can´t keep doing this – Alli|
|Bulls keep Rebels waiting for South Africa win, Sharks beat Stormers|
|Heynckes highlights importance of ´psychology´ before Real Madrid clash|
|United are about winning titles and playing finals, says happy Herrera|
|Pogba and United the comeback kings again|
|Destructive De Villiers demolishes Daredevils|
|Giroud thanks Wenger for making his ´dream come true´|
|Borussia Dortmund 4 Bayer Leverkusen 0: Reus and Sancho star as Stoger´s side go third|
|Manchester United 2 Tottenham 1: Sanchez and Herrera seal comeback to book FA Cup final spot|
|Zaha´s no diver, insists Hodgson|
|Quiros maintains one-shot lead in Rabat|
|Championship Review: Wolves win title, Sunderland relegated|
|Nishikori fights back to reach Monte Carlo final|