All eyes are on Augusta and the 2012 US Masters, with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy locked together at the top of the market.
It has been and up-and-down 12 months for both, so we'll take a look at the long walk to Amen Corner.
Following an encouraging final round in the 2011 Masters, where he finished tied for fourth, Woods is installed as 5/1 favourite for the 2012 tournament. McIlroy’s final round implosion saw him card an 80, and he was priced up at 18/1.
April 11th (day after 2011 Masters):
Tiger Woods 5/1
Rory McIlroy 18/1
Due to leg injuries sustained during the Masters, Woods is unable to compete in any tournaments until August and misses both the Open Championship and the US Open. McIlroy suffers a post-Masters slump as he misses the cut trying to defend the Quail Hollow Championship and is pushed out to 20/1, but it's ended in stunning fashion at Congressional where he leads wire-to-wire to win the US Open by eight shots for his maiden major victory.
June 20th (day after 2011 US Open):
McIlroy 9/1 (as short as 7/2)
Tiger’s tumultuous personal life continues as he sacks his long time caddie Steve Williams on July 21st; he is pushed out to 7/1.
Tiger returns to action in the WGC Bridgestone in early August but after a promising opening round, he falters eventually finishing tied for 37th.
The following week, Tiger tees off in the final Major of the year, the USPGA Championship, but his career hits a new low as a 77 and a 73 sees him missing the cut on +10. McIlroy also fails to feature after injuring his wrist on the third hole.
Tiger takes another two months off to focus on his swing with Sean Foley before making a return to action in the Frys.com Open where he can only finish 30th. On November 6th, he hits a new low as he drops to 58 in the world rankings. McIlroy wins the Shanghai Masters and is steady at around 8/1.
The Australian Open and Presidents Cup in mid-November mark as a turning point for Tiger as he records a third place finish in Sydney before helping the USA to victory over the rest of the world in the Presidents Cup. A simple putting tip from Steve Stricker works miracles for a newly confident Tiger.
November 21st (after Presidents Cup):
Tiger’s final outing of the season in the Chevron World Challenge sees him finally break his winless streak as he beats Zach Johnson by one shot. Rory ends his year with victory in the Hong Kong Open.
December 5th (after Chevron Challenge):
2012 starts promisingly for Woods but in both the Abu Dhabi Championship and AT&T Pro-Am, he failed to capitalise on good opening rounds losing out to Robert Rock and Phil Mickelson. McIlroy finishes second in Abu Dhabi.
January 30th (after Abu Dhabi):
Woods's rollercoaster 12 months continues as he is drifts to 7/1 for the Masters after he is knocked out in the second round of the WGC Match Play by Nick Watney, with his putting again letting him down. Prior to the Honda Classic in early March, Tiger states that he is abandoning his current putting technique and reverting back to basics. After three steady rounds, he posts a Sunday career-best of 62, narrowly failing to catch McIlroy at the top of the leaderboard. Rory hits a top price of 6/1 for the Masters on February 11th after two scintillating rounds in the Desert Classic. He goes on to reach the final of the WGC Match Play before winning the Honda Classic the following week, which takes him to world number one for the first time.
March 5th (after Honda Classic):
Tiger’s year hits the buffers again in the Cadillac Championship as he is forced to withdraw during the final round with an Achilles injury. Many wonder if he will ever play again, let alone make the Masters, and the doubts push him out to 12/1 on the exchanges. Rory starts slowly in the Cadillac but hits form going into the weekend, finishing two shots behind winner Justin Rose.
Woods 12/1 (exchanges):
Allaying fears his season or career is over, Tiger makes a surprise return to action the following week in the Tavistock Cup. Later that week, he lines up in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, an event he had won six times previously, and promptly wins by five shots from Graeme McDowell; his first official PGA Tour victory since September 2009. After his second place at the Cadillac Championship, McIlroy takes a break to focus on the Masters.
March 26th (after Arnold Palmer Invitational):
Tiger and Rory both head to Augusta hoping to bury some ghosts. They may be 7 and 2 in the present world golf rankings, but much of the attention will be on the pair with the hope that come Sunday the golfing gods will serve up a treat.