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Nic Ladds 11th Jul 2009 - 10:19

Is Tiger a good thing for The Open?

With The Open upon us many a punter will be asking the same question, is Tiger Woods a good thing?

His prohibitive odds of 2/1 may put some off but if you knew the world number one was going to play to his stunning best you would take 2/1 all day and ask for seconds.

He has shown few ill effects of his eight month layoff this season having won three tournaments from just nine events played, including the AT&T National last week which shows what good fettle he is in coming in to The Open.

His driving appears to be more accurate than before which means danger for everyone as it is often thought that if Tiger drives straight then Tiger wins.

Accuracy will be paramount at Turnberry as well with a host of new bunkers and hazards put in and many a dogleg to negotiate, accuracy off the tee combined with his near perfect game everywhere else could make him a definite bet for many.

It has also been suggested that there are no massive dangers to Tiger's possible dominance and it will take a special performance from someone to overhaul the favourite.

This is because Phil Mickelson isn't playing who is traditionally his biggest threat and winner of the last two Opens Padraig Harrington horrendously out of form (33/1 to win this year), along with other possible former threats (Sergio Garcia 20/1, Ernie Els 33/1) also out of form it is hard to pin point exactly where the challenge will come from.

However, for those looking to oppose there is some reason to be confident that Tiger can be turned over.

While he has won The Open three times, those victories came twice at St Andrews and once at Hoylake both of which has little rough to worry about and suited his big hitting game to an absolute tee.

In other Opens where the going has been a lot tougher Woods has not performed up to the standard that everyone knows he is capable of.

Due to the unpredictable weather at Turnberry as well if he is drawn to tee off at the wrong time then adverse conditions could scupper his chances in favour of someone drawn more favourably.

Finally as many have noticed he often doesn't have the fastest start which means he may be available to back at bigger prices after the first or indeed the second day's play.

If you do think Tiger is beatable at Turnberry then it could also pay to take him on in the Top 5 finish market where he is 2/5 or even the top 10 finish market where odds of 2/13 are on offer.

Our suggestion is that at the prices it may pay to look further down the field for the winner. There are plenty of his rivals who this tough links course will suit down to the ground and there looks to be some cracking each way value with William Hill paying 1/4 the odds for the first five places.

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