Tiger primed for liftoff at Augusta: Lyle

Last Updated: Mar 22, 2011, 08:17 AM IST

London: Tiger Woods is turning the corner with his game and victory at next month`s US Masters would put him back on track to break Jack Nicklaus`s record of 18 major wins, according to former Masters champion Sandy Lyle.

Former world number one Woods is without a trophy since the 2009 Australian Masters but a top-10 finish at the WGC-Cadillac Championship this month, his first on the PGA Tour since June, suggested he was starting to find his form.

"I think he`s going in the right direction," Briton Lyle told reporters. "From what I can see he could be heading back to the way he played in the 1990s under the guidance of (former coach) Butch Harmon.”

"He will obviously be very annoyed with his performances last year and this year he`s going to come out with all guns blazing.”

"The Masters may be a great springboard for him and if he wins next month then Jack`s record could be in jeopardy again," added the 53-year-old Scot.

Lyle is expecting Woods to be galvanised by the special setting of Augusta where he claimed Green Jackets in 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005.

"He knows the course so damned well and I`m sure he will be inspired to do well," said the winner of the 1988 Masters and the 1985 British Open.

"You know he`s not sitting around on the couch all day long watching TV. He is going to make sure he goes into the Masters in tip-top shape.”

"I don`t think he will leave a stone unturned. He will be in as good as shape as he possibly can be and going by his start to the year he sounds reasonably optimistic about his game and is starting to see some shots he hasn`t seen in a while."

Woods, 35, has been criticised in several quarters for deciding to undergo the fourth swing change of his career, this time under the direction of Canadian coach Sean Foley.

However, Lyle, who recorded his first victory in 19 years by capturing the Senior World Championship in China this month, believes the 14-times major winner has made the right move.

Bureau Report