Monday, July 15, 2013

A Sucker Bet – Tiger Woods favored to win The Open Championship

As most know betting on sporting events in the United Kingdom is not only legal but widely accepted. So this week the 2013 Open Championship will be played at the difficult Muirfield Golf Links in Scotland. But if you want a sure thing take the Field Vs, Tiger Woods.

Tiger has not won any major in five years with his last success being the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines leaving him stuck on 14 majors 4 behind Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors. Yet for almost every major for the last five years Tiger continues to be the favorite to win. That includes this week Open Championship, where Tiger remains  a strong leader at 7-1 to win..(click here for the latest odds.)

This week’s Open Championship, is being played at the Muirfield Golf Links in Scotland. The last time the Open was at Muirfield was 2002, interestingly won by this year's defending champion Ernie Els. In that 2002 Open, Tiger managed to finish T23rd place and that was when he was at the peak of his career. 

Before the Tiger Woods fans come after me let me say I have great respect for all that he has done for golf. I feel that he should be considered one of the greatest golfers of all time and yes maybe perhaps the best of all time. .  

But even his most avid fans would have to admit that five years between majors is a long time, especially when we are talking about Tiger. What Tiger has done is inspired a number of brash young guns that would like to take his place at the top of the World Golf standings.  

Some of them are on the odds board under Tiger guys like Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Graeme McDowel and Lee Westwood in that order. Look, there is no doubt that Woods could win the Open Championship but he has not played since he injured his damaged elbow at the U.S. Open. Woods has told a number of media outlets that he good to go and is ready play at the Open Championship .

During a conference call with the media two members of the ESPN Open Championship broadcast crew were about about Tiger’s chances coming into the tournament a bit dinged up.

ANDY NORTH:  If I can start with that ‑‑ first of all, we don't have any idea how healthy he is.  I suspect that he's going to have some lingering effects of what's going on and it may take one shot in the rough to basically have another major go by without having an opportunity to win. I think every major that goes by puts pressure on him.  He's very much in the same situation as a guy who has never won a major right now in that the next one is so important to him. Trust me, he's putting pressure on himself.  He wants this major so badly, he can't stand it.  I think the fact that if he's coming in here at all injured, as he did at the U.S. Open, that's going to be a huge factor.

 MIKE TIRICO:  The guy is 0for20 in the last 20 majors; four he didn't play.  When has Tiger Woods in golf been 0for20 in anything?  So it's got to be just tearing him up inside, and maybe that's part of why he's having trouble closing the deal after having good starts to these things, because he's never in golf ‑‑ I shouldn't say never; almost never done anything 20 times in golf and not won.  So it's just got to be just so foreign to him.

Television coverage is all ESPN  this week with things getting underway Thursday and Friday, July 18-19, from 4 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET. Saturday’s third round coverage will be on ESPN live from 7 a.m. – 2:30 p.m .ET, then Sunday it is the final round action starting at 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  

Radio will be ESPN Radio, BBC 5 and Sirius XM with the broadband streaming video on either ESPN 3 or the Watch ESPN app.

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