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Rupert Wyman 13th Jul 2010 - 9:58

A Rose to bloom at St Andrews

Tiger Woods has won by a total of thirteen shots over the previous two British Opens played on one of his favourite golf courses, the Old Course at St Andrews. If he will ever rediscover his form and touch, it could be at St Andrews, otherwise another career win may be some time away.

Tiger Woods' (4/1) reception will be interesting, he may not get the best of receptions on the Old Course and it will be interesting to see how he reacts to the crowd.

Tiger may be struggling but this is an exceptionally open Open and British golfers are currently taking the world by storm. They are dominating the world's top-50 and the big-name players - Rose (20/1), Poulter (33/1), Casey (33/1), Donald (40/1), McIlroy (16/1), Fisher (50/1) and Westwood (16/1) could all have a shout at winning the Major next week.

Justin Rose (20/1) once missed twenty-one consecutive cuts early in his professional career and he is one of the hottest golfers in the world currently.  He has won twice recently on the PGA Tour and it should have been a hat-trick of victories. He unfortunately blew a three-shot lead on the last day of the Travelers Championship.

He stormed onto the golfing scene by tying for fourth place in the 1998 British Open at Birkdale as an amateur. If he plays like he has recently, he could be thereabouts come the final day of the British Open.

Chris Wood has been Britain's best player over the past two Opens and he is priced at 66/1. He finished tied for fifth at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and was tied for third last year at Turnberry. He only recently turned professional and there is little pressure on him to win The Open, he could use this to his advantage.

He is an excellent links course player as he played them regularly as an amateur. He has three top-10 finishes this season and he could be a cracking each-way bet to finish in the top five. He is one to keep an eye on come Sunday next week.

Westwood's best Open finish was tied for third last year and the European No.1 is (16/1), he has finished inside the top three in three of the last four majors. He is yet to win a Major but it must surely be a matter of time. If he does win next week, the 20/1 on offer for the popular man to be Sports Personality of the Year would be history!

Two-time Open Champion Harrington (20/1) is a fantastic links course player, he won two Dunhill Links titles in 2002 and 2006 at St Andrews and he definitely has a chance of winning a third claret jug.

Stewart Cink (80/1) won his first major in dramatic fashion over Tom Watson (250/1) in a play-off at Turnberry last year. Cink has struggled this year with only one top-five finish, he must step up his game to be in with a shout of winning this Major again.

Finally, Mickelson (14/1) will be looking to prove all his doubters wrong. He has always struggled at the Open and he has only one top-10 finish in sixteen tries. He missed the Open last year due to his Mother's illness and he failed to make the cut at this week's Scottish Open. He is not a links player and it would be a massive surprise if he was in the reckoning on Sunday.



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