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The Masters: Tiger Woods 'here to win' if he makes remarkable return to golf, says Rich Beem

Sky Sports pundit and former PGA champion Rich Beem on Tiger Woods: "If he was to win it, it would have to be the biggest comeback in sport - beyond reality"; watch The Masters throughout the week live from Augusta National exclusively live on Sky Sports Golf

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It was all eyes on Tiger Woods at Augusta National on Monday, but it is yet to be confirmed whether he will make his return come Thursday

Rich Beem looks at just how likely a remarkable return to golf for Tiger Woods is this week and assesses both his and Rory McIlroy's chances of emerging victorious at The Masters.

Will Tiger make remarkable Masters comeback?

I've got to say, I did not see this one coming.

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Billy Horschel reveals he has spoken to Woods and believes he could make his return this week at Augusta National

When I heard last week that he [Tiger] was coming to Augusta National to get a practice round in, alongside his son and Justin Thomas, I thought 'well, this is kind of interesting'.

This is one of the golf courses I never expected to see him make his comeback on, as it's a difficult walk to say the least, and then to try and stabilise your body when you're making your swing off of these hills that pitch front to back, sideways, downhill - all over the place.

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Check out highlights from Woods' five previous wins at Augusta National

Obviously only one person knows whether his body can handle it and that is Tiger himself. It will be interesting to see what his preparation looks like over the next couple of days.

He is not out here just to compete, he is out here to win. And if there is anybody that can navigate this golf course by not having their 'A' game but by just being so strong mentally, it definitely would be Tiger.

He understands the places you can and cannot afford to miss some of these shots out here. And if he can rely heavily on his short game, especially the putter, then why not?

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'It would have to be the biggest comeback in sport'

Where he was at a year ago right now, possibly losing his leg, nobody thought coming back to play this soon would even be a possibility - much less a probability, which is what it is looking like right now.

I think if you look at everything he has gone through historically, I think you can kind of now understand what he has inside that drives him so much to get back here - he just loves to compete, he loves being out here, this is his passion, this is his playground.

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Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth gives an update on the possibility of Woods making a return at the Masters

If anybody could possibly do it from a mental aspect, to go through the process of getting in the work that needs to be done to rehab that leg, it's him.

If he was to win it, it would have to be the biggest comeback in sport - beyond reality.

Why can't this be Rory's year at Augusta?

I think the only expectation Rory McIlroy feels is from himself. I don't think he is bothered too much by what the press might ask him, or what state he is in to try and finally win that career Grand Slam.

Having Tiger here, could help him a little in terms of distracting the media but, saying that, Rory knows what is at stake. He understands that he has to go out there to complete this career Grand Slam sooner rather than later, because as time goes on it will kind of eat away at you more as a player.

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Rich Beem explores why Rory McIlroy is not as consistent with his irons and what swing changes could benefit him

Why not this year? I spoke to him for a few minutes today; he has changed golf balls - he has gone back to an older ball that he can control and flight a little bit better into the wind, which is what we're going to see here at Augusta, I think, later on this week.

He has got the game to go out here and really dominate this golf course. It's just about putting it all together and minimising the mistakes.

It's really not always about how good you play round Augusta, it's about how do you minimise those mistakes and those big numbers - you have got to stay away from double-bogeys at all costs out here, those will eat away at you - because it's really tough to make three or four more birdies to make those back.

If Rory can do that this week then I think he has got a great chance because, even though he hasn't been putting great this year, he has still been hitting a lot of good putts. They are bound to go in sooner or later.

Will Bryson DeChambeau learn from '67 par' comment?

Bryson DeChambeau
Image: Bryson DeChambeau last year claimed that Augusta National was a par-67 layout for him before twice shooting over 70

I believe he has learnt from those comments. Funnily enough, as far as he hits the golf ball, it's simple in concept but nearly impossible to do - especially if you find yourself a little bit out of position.

You can hit it as far as you want in the practice rounds here, shoot 67 pretty quickly, but once the tournament starts, 67 becomes a lot more difficult.

I don't think we'll be hearing similar from him. But still, he has got the ability to make a 67, but he has got to drive the golf ball well.

Matsuyama neck injury makes for uncomfortable Masters defence

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The 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama was seen practising at Augusta National on Monday, despite concerns around a neck injury

[Can Hideki Matsuyama challenge?] It depends on the extent of the injury. If it's something that is still nagging him, then he's going to be go out there and not feel completely comfortable on all shots - you are going to err on the cautious side.

But if he feels like it's 100 per cent and good to go, then I think he's going to have a fun time out there looking to defend the Green Jacket. But it is a very uneasy and uncomfortable position for him to be in, most certainly.

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