Tiger Woods may have come up just short in his bid to win the Valspar Championship, but the 14-time major champion is now firmly in the conversation when it comes to predicting the winner of next month's Masters.
Less than six months ago, Woods acknowledged he was not sure whether he would even play professional golf again, as he continued his recovery from a fourth back surgery.
Yet the 42-year-old looked fit and sharp at Palm Harbor as he posted four scores of 70 or better and finished just one shot behind tournament-winner Paul Casey in a dramatic finale.
Although Woods narrowly failed to win a first PGA Tour event since 2013, he is now widely priced as the second-favourite for the first major of 2018, which takes place at Augusta from April 5-8.
Woods has won the Masters on four occasions, albeit most recently in 2005.
We take a look at four reasons why Tiger could once again triumph at Augusta.
40 the new 20-something?! Phil Mickelson, 47, ends drought of 4+ yrs & now well done, hearty congrats @Paul_Casey, 40, on 1st @PGATOUR win since 2009. Fantastic 65 w/ just 21 putts at @ValsparChamp! And well done @TigerWoods! You're getting there my friend. Sure it won't be long!— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) March 11, 2018
THE 'TIGER' FACTOR
Woods has not won a major since 2008, while a number of poor outings in unsuccessful previous comebacks from injury have undoubtedly weakened the aura of a player once renowned for his ability to instil fear in his rivals.
Nevertheless, it remains to be seen how young stars such as Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm or Jordan Spieth would react if they found themselves going head-to-head with Woods over the closing holes next month.
The attention surrounding Tiger - from fans on and off the course - is unprecedented, as evidenced by the enormous crowds that followed his every move last week.
If Woods is in contention with nine holes to play at Augusta, the nerve of his fellow competitors would be tested to the extreme.
Tiger has repeatedly shown he can handle that pressure in the past. Can the same be said for his rivals?
The last three Masters champions have all been first-time major-winners, but it is instructive to note how often the same names crop up on leaderboards at Augusta.
Experience can clearly provide a significant advantage when it comes to plotting a successful assault on the only course to host a men's major every year.
Augusta's greens, in particular, are notoriously tough to adapt to, but Woods has conquered them on multiple occasions - his tally of four green jackets surpassed only by Jack Nicklaus.
Even though his last win there came in 2005, Woods has since finished in the top six at the Masters on seven out of nine appearances.
SPIETH AND RORY OUT OF FORM
US PGA Championship winner Thomas would appear to be the form horse as the Masters nears, while the recent performances of world number one Dustin Johnson have been encouraging, if not spectacular.
However, two perennial Masters contenders, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, will be hoping to see significant improvements in their respective games before arriving at Augusta.
Spieth - who claimed the green jacket in 2015 before sensationally throwing away the chance to retain his title 12 months later - missed the cut at the Valspar Championship after being grouped with Woods and has yet to finish higher than ninth this year.
And although McIlroy began 2018 strongly, with two top-three finishes on the European Tour, his four subsequent outings in the USA have yielded one 20th-placed finish, a tie for 59th and two missed cuts.
SHORT GAME SHARPNESS
Arguably Woods' lowest hour amid his succession of unhappy comebacks came in January 2015, when he ran up a shocking 82 at the Phoenix Open.
At that point, the standard of Tiger's chipping was the most alarming issue.
Woods had always been famed for his prowess around the greens, but looked to have lost all confidence in his short game in a painful performance.
Happily, a return to full fitness also appears to have enabled Woods to rediscover his golden touch in the scoring zone. His chipping has looked increasingly sharp in 2018 - epitomised by a superb hole-out on Saturday at Palm Harbor.
24 de septiembre 2018
|Ryder Cup 2018: Team Europe profile|
|Patriots´ Gronkowski threatened to retire if traded to Lions|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Four reasons why Europe will win|
|Tigres and Monterrey condemn violence that leaves fan in intensive care|
|Williams baffled by coach´s claim he sent her US Open final signals|
|Ryder Cup 2018: A sporting spectacular you cannot afford to miss|
|Cricket Australia closes investigation into Moeen claim|
|Zlatan impressed by ´MVP´ singer|
|Modric hoping to complete FIFA and UEFA double at Best Awards|
|Mickelson never doubted Woods would win again|
|Woods looked like Tiger of old in 80th PGA Tour win|
|Chelsea were too slow against West Ham - David Luiz|
|Tottenham star Kane acknowledges sub-par start|
|Rashid signs one-year all-format deal with Yorkshire|
|Brady and Patriots crash to back-to-back defeats|
|Gundogan looking forward to ´real test´ against Liverpool|
|Cubs move closer to clinching NL Central|
|Valverde bewildered by Lenglet red card as Barca boss questions VAR|
|Cronk a ´long shot´ to play in NRL Grand Final|
|Cleary re-signs with Panthers until 2024|
|Bills stun Vikings, Chiefs QB Mahomes impresses again|
|Tiger feels he can surpass Snead´s record after 80th victory|
|Ronaldo mentally stronger than others, says Allegri|
|MLS Review: Ibrahimovic scores as Galaxy end seven-game skid, Dallas reclaim top spot in west|
|Rose told Woods it was ´about time´ after win|
|Dustin Johnson regains number one ranking|
|Pogba: Sanchez will deliver at Man United|
|Federer, Zverev help Europe defend Laver Cup|
|I couldn´t sit or stand – Tiger Woods reflects on back woes after ending drought|
|Snead´s record in sight – Tiger Woods´ 80 PGA Tour wins|
|Nicklaus, Magic Johnson, McIlroy and Kane – Sports stars celebrate Tiger´s Tour win|
|Tiger Woods season in review: Tour Championship win caps remarkable comeback|
|49ers fear QB Garoppolo suffered torn ACL|
|World of golf is proud of Woods – Rose|
|WATCH: Tiger followed by incredible sea of fans at East Lake|
|Three takeaways from the 2017-18 PGA Tour season|
|Mbappe shows off signed Pele shirt|
|Tiger timeline: Woods´ fall and rise|
|Spieth´s breakthrough, Garcia´s Masters moment - Events between Tiger´s triumphs|
|Tiger Woods: I was close to tears on the last hole|
|Woods earns first win since 2013; Rose claims FedEx Cup|
|Pogba implores Manchester United to ´attack, attack, attack´|
|Valverde, Busquets and Vidal criticise Lenglet dismissal|
|Tiger Woods: The stunning statistics|
|Fitness hindering Dybala form, says Allegri|
23 de septiembre 2018
|BREAKING NEWS: Woods claims first title since 2013, Rose wins FedEx Cup|
|Povetkin struggles leave Joshua with no Wilder fear|
|Guardiola targets Barca, Bayern dominance with Premier League priority|
|Centurions Rohit and Dhawan put India in final|
|Eagles top Colts as Wentz makes his return|
|Barcelona 2 Girona 2: Stuani brace punishes Lenglet red|
|Frosinone 0 Juventus 2: Ronaldo redeemed as champions extend perfect start|
|Gattuso: No alibis for two-faced AC Milan|
|Bangladesh hold on despite late Afghanistan charge|
|Composed Woods hits turn with five-shot lead|
|Chiefs´ Mahomes has another record-breaking Sunday|
|Saints QB Drew Brees passes Brett Favre for most career completions|
|Emery hints Leno may need patience after Cech display|
|Picamoles scores four as Montpellier batter 14-man Toulouse|
|Messi breaks LaLiga record|
|Worcester fend off prowling Tigers, Sarries go top|
|AC Milan 2 Atalanta 2: Last-gasp Rigoni rescues a point|
|Neymar keen to repay supporter affection|
|Pellegrini rues West Ham´s wastefulness|
|Paris Saint-Germain´s positive response buoys Tuchel|
|Lewis rekindles fond memories with Vilamoura triumph|
|Arsenal 2 Everton 0: Lacazette, Aubameyang extend winning streak|
|Stephens suffers as Osaka withdraws in Wuhan|
|Rhinos run riot to secure Super League status|
|Risk brings reward for victorious Marquez|