Tiger eyes fifth Palmer title

World number one back in action and looking to make it nine from ten

Last Updated: 11/03/08 9:54pm

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Woods: Imperious form

Woods: Imperious form

Sky Bet

Tiger Woods returns to competitive action in Thursday's Arnold Palmer Invitational looking for his ninth win in his last ten outings.

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The world number one has taken a short break following his most recent victory - a thumping 8&7 triumph over Stewart Cink at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

That success was the world number one's 63rd on the PGA Tour and edged ahead of the host of this week's tournament, Palmer.

Woods still trails Ben Hogan (64), Jack Nicklaus (73) and Sam Snead (82), but given his record at Bay Hill - and his incredible current form - has every chance of pulling level with Hogan this week.

The 32-year-old will be chasing a fifth Palmer title in Orlando and those competing against him at Bay Hill feel he is only going to get better.

"He is the greatest the sport has ever seen," said Sean O'Hair, winner of last week's PODS Championship.

"Obviously he has not outdone Mr.Nicklaus yet but I think he will very soon.

"I think it is cool to play in the same era as Tiger. I think he is just great for the game.

"I think he's like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and all of those guys in one guy, that is the cool thing about Tiger."

While his many of his contemporaries continue to line up to pay tribute to Tiger, one did pause to hail the impact of his predecessors.

Indeed, South African Trevor Immelman chose to recognise the trail blazed by Palmer himself who celebrates the 30th year of the event at his club this week.

"What he (Palmer) did for the game is probably the equivalent to what Tiger is doing now," declared Immelman.

"He took it to a whole new level and made it so popular. All of us owe him a lot for that."

With 30 of the world's top 50 teeing it up at Bay Hill it promises to be a fascinating week.

Woods inevitably starts as red-hot favourite, but there will be no shortage of players aiming to bring to an end his unbeaten start to the season.

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