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Fri Apr 25 09:04:27 SAST 2014

Tiger is the one to beat

Reuters | 19 July, 2012 07:120 Comments
141st Open Championship - Previews
Tiger Woods of the United States eyes a golf ball on the practice ground during the third practice round prior to the start of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes on July 18, 2012 in Lytham St Annes, England
Image by: Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

SINCE Tiger Woods won the 2008 US Open 15 different players have claimed golf's elite championships, but the former world No1 is favourite to land his 15th major at this week's British Open.

The US world No4, emerging from a spell in the doldrums caused by personal problems and injuries to win three tournaments this year, could return to the top of the rankings by taming the treacherous Lytham links.

"Tiger hasn't finished in the top 10 at the British Open since winning in 2006, but he has won three US PGA events this year and goes in as the man to beat," sportsbet.com.au's Haydn Lane said.

Bookmaker William Hill is offering odds of 9/1 on Woods lifting the Claret Jug on Sunday, with England's Lee Westwood and Luke Donald 14/1 and 20/1 respectively to win the title on home soil.

"Our customers are convinced that either Donald or Westwood will finally achieve their maiden major victory this week, with two-time champion Padraig Harrington their biggest danger," said Hill's spokesman Rupert Adams.

Harrington, who won the 2008 British Open and US PGA Championship, is also 20/1 to claim his fourth major, along with former US Open champion Rory McIlroy.

World No1 Donald believes Woods' loss of form has been the main reason for the number of different major winners.

"Tiger would admit that his form hasn't been as good over the last few years," Donald said. "He hasn't been as dominant in the majors as he was. And it probably also speaks of how good a player he was, that he was able to dominate.

"Even though there are some great players around right now, no one has really come through and started to win consistently at the majors," added Donald.

"So I think that shows what an amazing run he went on and it shows just how difficult it is to win majors."

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