Live on BBC2: Thu: 09:30 Angus Loughran previews this week’s Open Championship tournament from Muirfield.
Tiger Woods has rarely started a Major at a double-figure price since his Masters triumph in 1997 but you can get 11/1 about the world number one as he bids to win a 4th Open Championship and a first Major since his US Open triumph of 2008 at Torrey Pines. William Hill are also offering seven places which makes Tiger one of the most appealing each-way bets of recent times.
The last time the Open was held in such hot and humid conditions was Hoylake in 2006 and Tiger produced a master class in course management to win a third Claret Jug. Moreover, Woods admitted this week that he loves the Open Championship and has done for 17 years, he also eased speculation that he’ll be hampered by injury at Muirfield, stating on Tuesday that his elbow feels good and subsequently at 10s he’s too good to miss.
With Paddy Power also paying seven places, there’s plenty for the punters to get stuck into. I like the chances of last year’s halfway leader Brandt Snedeker who has the perfect game for links golf in dry conditions and looks big value at 45/1 this week.
Adam Scott was a worthy Masters Champion at Augusta in April and looks a decent each-way bet at 25/1 (Ladbrokes) to give backers a good run for their money here. I doubt he would lose a four shot lead like last year now he has a Major in the bag and I will be very surprised if the Australian ends his career with only the 2013 Masters from the big four events.
Rory McIlroy has seen his odds drift to 28/1 at the likes of Stan James this week and unlike the last two years when he has been the bookies biggest loser he has been largely ignored by the punters, who have been getting stuck into Phil Mickelson (20/1, Coral) since his Scottish Open win on Sunday.
Sergio Garcia would be a hugely popular winner and is down to a top price of 30/1 with Paddy Power. The Spaniard has enjoyed six top ten Open finishes since 2001 and the seven place each-way terms is the clear way to side with him.
The Open is one of the biggest sporting events of the year and one in which the punters love to get involved. This year, the dry forecast makes the conditions slightly unusual but more familiar might be the name of the winner come Sunday night because Tiger Woods looks set to join the giants of the game as a Muirfield Open Champion.