Woods pairing with Kuchar, Choi could net him his fifth Masters, says pal O'Meara

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Augusta (Georgia, US), Apr. 7 (ANI): Golfing great Tiger Woods has been paired with Matt Kuchar and K.J. Choi for the first two rounds of the Augusta Masters, and some feel this has been done to ensure a title win for Woods.

According to close pal Mark O'Meara, Woods can be expected to land his fifth Masters title after being drawn with South Korean KJ Choi and American Matt Kuchar for the first two rounds.

"He (Woods) looks comfortable with how he is hitting the ball. And, he trusts what he is doing. Confidence is a big part of his game and it may take time for him to get it all back, but I liked what I saw from him," said O'Meara.

"I think he's ready for this and Augusta is a course where you always think he has a great chance. It's going to take a while for him to figure out all the stuff that has gone on away from the course, but knowing him he'll work it all out," he added.

According to the New York Daily News, all three will tee off at 1:42 p.m. Thursday in the next-to-last group of the day and on 10:35 a.m. Friday.

ESPN's coverage begins at 4 p.m. and will pick up Woods on the back nine Thursday. None of his shots will be on live TV on Friday.

They could have gotten the bad end of the draw Thursday. There is a 60 percent chance of rain beginning in the afternoon.

Masters pairings are selected by committee and are not random. Playing with Woods as he makes his return with so much attention can't be an advantage.

"Of all tournaments, this is the one tournament where it's not as bad. The media is not allowed inside the ropes. You don't have (it) like at the U.S. Open and British Open, (where) we have over a hundred people inside the ropes that are moving around," Woods said at his Monday press conference.

"It's going to be a lot more at ease this week than most weeks. If there's one week that you would rather have a pairing with me, considering the circumstances, it would probably be this week," he added.

Kuchar played with Woods the first two rounds in 1998 when he was the defending U.S. Amateur champion and Woods was the defending Masters champion. Woods shot 71-72 en route to an eighth-place finish.

Kuchar's father, Peter, caddied for him and annoyed players that week with his

Choi won Woods' tournament, the AT and T National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, three years ago.

Golf fans will have to wait until late tomorrow to see whether he can reproduce that when the real stuff begins. (ANI)

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