OPEN AND SHUT CASE FOR TIGER; Woods Is a Great Bet - Even at 3-1
AFTER two successive 750-1 winners, punters could be forgiven for giving next week's Open a wide berth.
If Ben Curtis can win at Sandwich and Todd Hamilton at Royal Troon before both returning to anonymity, surely anyone can lift the Claret Jug at St Andrews.
Not true. There's only one man who can triumph next Sunday ...Tiger Woods.
He was 5-1 a month ago. Today he is 3-1. By next Thursday, at first tee-off, he will be no longer than 2-1.
Woods is the Pete Sampras of golf. Like Sampras at his peak, he no longer bothers with the weekly tournaments that make up the US Tour.
All that matters are the Slams, the four Majors which once Woods dominated and which, but for a super-show from Michael Campbell in last month's US Open, he would be on the verge of dominating again.
Winner at the US Masters and unlucky runner-up at the US Open, Woods has the Claret Jug at his mercy.
The last time the Open was held at St Andrews the runaway winner was Woods - by EIGHT shots.
The generous fairways mean that errant drives are not punished - if Woods was designing a course best suited to giving him a first-rate chance of winning a Major, St Andrews would be it.
But is 3-1 a fair price about a player still to convince everyone that he's back to his best?
Yes it is, mainly because his chief rivals have all-too-obvious flaws right now. …