Tiger Woods has sent out a Masters warning to Rory McIlroy – after taming his compatriot Graeme McDowell in Florida.
McIlroy’s fellow Ulsterman had to make do with second place as Tiger won the Arnold Palmer invitational for the seventh time on Sunday.
The win is the first for Tiger since the controversy surrounding his infidelities and is seen as ominous for McIlroy and his rivals ahead of the return to Augusta in a fortnight.
“I am excited about the Masters, there’s no doubt,” said Woods as he looks to win a 15th Major over the Easter weekend.
“It’s always fun to get there and play and I’m looking forward to the momentum I’ve built up here.
“I still need some work, and it’s going to be good to get a week off and work on a few things.
“I enjoyed the progression we made this week. Each day there was a little bit of fine-tuning here and there, and we were able to make those adjustments, which was good, and especially with the conditions getting more difficult on the weekend.
“I was able to hit some really good shots the last two days, and that’s a very good sign going into Augusta.”
Victory at Augusta will bring Woods a step closer to Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major wins.
He added: “I’ve won here at Bay Hill on a few occasions going into Augusta which has always been a good feeling.
“I still have some work to do but I’m excited about the things that we have accomplished.
“Each day this week there was a little bit of fine tuning and we were able to make those adjustments, which was good, especially with the conditions getting more difficult on the weekend.
“I was able to hit some really good shots, the last two days and that’s a very good sign going into Augusta.
“You are looking for everything to come together for that one week. I understand how to play Augusta National and it is just a matter of executing the game plan.
“I’m looking forward more to the green jacket part of it than tying Jack, in that regard.
“I’m looking forward to my opportunities this year. There are four of them and hopefully I can peak at the right time for all four of them.”