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Tiger Woods can win Masters - Seve Ballesteros

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Woods talks about his comeback

Seve Ballesteros has backed Tiger Woods' prospects of winning the Masters and described his return as "the best news that golf can have".

Woods, who has not competed since mid-November, will make his return at Augusta on 8-11 April after taking a break to try to save his marriage.

And five-time major winner Ballesteros said: "I am pleased to see that Tiger Woods made the decision to come back.

"He has a good chance to win the Masters this year, of course."

Speaking at the launch of Madrid's bid to host the 2018 Ryder Cup, the 52-year-old Spaniard added: "If he decides to compete in the Masters it is because he knows that he has a good chance.

"We all know his potential and Augusta is a very long course.

606: DEBATE

"He is very used to playing long off the tee and he knows the golf course very well so I think he has a great chance to win."

Ballesteros, who has undergone four operations since being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008, was backed in his view by the world number one's practice partners.

"From the last three days, I would place Tiger first at the Masters," said John Cook.

"As far as ball-striking goes, it is vintage."

Cook, who has 11 PGA Tour wins, played rounds with Woods on Thursday and Friday and said that he hit balls with the 14-times major winner on Sunday.

"I don't see anyone that hits the ball like he does. We all know that that's not the whole battle, there are a lot of other issues there for him," continued Cook.

He's very mellow now, he's very chilled out

Arjun Atwal

"You have to go up to the first green and mark your ball and you have to finish out and sign your name at the end of the day, that's a whole different deal.

"I'd be hard pressed to see anyone beat him but it will be his first rounds of golf for five months."

Woods, though, has admitted to nerves concerning the reception he will receive when he returns to action almost five months away from the game.

"I don't know, I'm a little nervous. It would be nice to hear a couple of claps here and there," Woods told ESPN on Sunday.

However Arjun Atwal, who said he had played almost every day last week with Woods, said the four-time champion seemed to be relaxed.

"He's very mellow now, he's very chilled out, obviously whatever is going on at home I don't know, I don't even ask him, when he is out with us you can see that he is more at peace right now," Atwal said.

"I think he is doing all the right things, he thinks he isn't putting very well but we see for us mere mortals, it seems okay."



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see also
Seve poised for St Andrews return
06 Mar 10 |  Golf
Woods 'nervous' about reception
21 Mar 10 |  Golf
Woods strategy surprises Nicklaus
18 Mar 10 |  Golf
Montgomerie welcomes Woods return
17 Mar 10 |  Golf
Woods to make comeback at Masters
16 Mar 10 |  Golf
Nicklaus warning for absent Woods
10 Jan 10 |  Golf
Ballesteros savours second chance
25 Jun 09 |  Golf
Ballesteros battles brain tumour
12 Oct 08 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf


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