The Masters: Tiger Woods expected to challenge for Augusta win
Last Updated: 13/04/19 9:11pm
Paul McGinley explains why Tiger Woods is in great shape to contend for Masters victory and reflects on a disappointing start to the week for Rory McIlroy.
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It has been a while since Tiger won his last major title, but you have to remember that he beat the best 30 players on the PGA Tour and arguably the world when he won at East Lake last year.
That win gave him validation and proved that this comeback is real. Not only is he playing well but he can actually beat these players and has that intimidation factor.
Should he go into the back nine on Sunday up near the top of the leaderboard, then I really think the Tiger of old will reappear, so the challenge for him is to stay in contention on Saturday.
His game is superb right now. Luckily now we have the Toptracer and we're able to see the shape of the shots and how Tiger really does work the ball beautifully into these pin positions.
He knows this golf course backwards, his course management is brilliant and he seems to be putting a lot better and making a lot of footage. I think he is in good shape and I'm really expecting him to challenge on Sunday.
I've not seen enough from Rory McIlroy so far this week. He has had nine bogeys already over the first two days and this the Rory of old that we've seen over the past two or three years.
It's lots of birdies, lots of mistakes and hanging well off the pace, which we haven't seen at the start of the year where he has been averaging only six bogeys per tournament. This is not vintage McIlroy.
The challenge he has is that not only is he seven shots back, but it's the strength of the players he has in front of him. A third of the players who have made the cut are major champions and a lot of those are ahead of him, so he has got to jump some real quality players if he's going to contend.
Five share Masters lead
Report and highlights from the second round of the Masters, where five share the lead.
This is going to come down to a mental test over the weekend. This golf course plays mental gymnastics with you and we all know the history of it and we all know the challenges of trying to win the elusive Green Jacket.
Francesco Molinari is a real competitor now and has proven that several times over the past 18 months. Not only has he got the game but he has got the competitiveness, so I'm really expecting him to be there or thereabouts. He's not going to fade off that leaderboard!
Watch the Masters throughout the weekend live on Sky Sports! Live coverage continues on Saturday from 7pm on Sky Sports Golf, with Featured Groups on the red button via 3.15pm.