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Golf insiders agree multiple wins, including majors, within reach

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Let’s be honest: No one really knows.A year ago as Tiger Woods prepared to tee off in his first PGA Tour event of 2018, few projected he would skyrocket up the World Ranking, seriously contend in two majors and win his first tour event in more than five years.Back then the goals were still modest: stay healthy, make some cuts, show at least a few flashes of his old self.Now, though, as Woods prepares for another return at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, the stakes have been raised.After playing a full schedule, reporting no ill effects to his surgically repaired back and displaying enough of the ball-striking prowess and short-game mastery of his prime, Woods likely won’t be content just showing up.So what are reasonable expectations for the 43-year-old Woods in 2019? Well, it’s worth noting when we put the question to our Twitter followers, 90 percent of respondents said they expect him to win at least one tour event, and 67 percent said he’ll win at least two.Furthermore, 51 percent said he’ll win at least one of the four majors—in part, perhaps, because three of the four this year (Augusta National, Bethpage Black and Pebble Beach) are being contested at venues where he’s won before.Of course, that might just be typical social-media hyperbole, which is why we also sought to canvas a range of golf insiders that includes tour players, coaches, commentators, and other golf executives for their predictions for Woods this year.Most were optimistic that Woods would build on the momentum that began last year, but some were more bullish than others.Below is a sampling of their responses.Paul Azinger, 1993 PGA Champion, TV analyst: I’ve always thought Tiger talked with his face.So far we’ve seen business faces, in-pain faces, best celebrations faces and smiles.I look forward to seeing all of them except the in-pain reactions.Hopefully we get longevity face, if that’s a thing.Prediction: 1 major, 2 wins overall Alan Bratton, Oklahoma State men’s golf coach: I say Tiger wins two times with zero majors.I will adjust my major prediction if he wins at Torrey Pines.Whenever he is himself he wins at Torrey so should he win there, then I say he wins three times, with one being a major Dan Brooks, Duke women’s golf coach: I think Tiger will win three times, and one major.The three wins I’m confident in.The major, maybe wishful thinking.This would be the fewest wins in a year he’s won a major, but I just have a feeling.Having won the Tour Championship will fuel his confidence.Prediction: 1 major, 3 wins Brandel Chamblee, former PGA Tour player, Golf Channel analyst: The big question for 2019 is will Tiger play like he did winning the Tour Championship in 2018.If he does, anything is possible, including breaking Snead’s all-time wins record and winning another major.More likely his driver and putter will hold him back, but he remains almost peerless with his irons.Prediction: 0 majors, 2 wins David B.Fay, former USGA executive director: Tiger will

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