My Money's on Woods

   I just placed a friendly wager on Tiger Woods finishing no worse than third place when he returns to golf at the Masters.  Frankly, I think Woods is the best pick to win the green jacket – his fifth –but that’s not a bet I’m willing to make .
     Not yet. If he’s leading after the third round, I’ll double down. 
     Woods couldn’t have picked a better venue for his comeback.  He is more intimately familiar with Augusta National’s layout than with any of his former mistresses. 
      All the distractions – the sex scandal and the status of his relationship with Elin – will cease once he tees off in the opening round on April 8, because  the world behind the walls of Augusta National Golf Club is different from the real world outside of them. 
   Masters spectators are exceedingly polite.  When fans walk onto the hallowed grounds they behave as if they are in church.  It’s like Mayberry in there. Taunting just isn’t done by civil people.
           If Woods plays well — and I think he will despite the layoff and personal dramas — fans will rally behind him, and every golf writer will be working on storylines of personal redemption and the greatest comeback ever in sports.    
           Woods picked the Masters for his return to make a statement to the whole world, and he’ll make it loud and clear if he leaves Augusta wearing a green jacket.  
          The smart money is to not bet against him.