Eldrick "Tiger" Woods - 20.1/1
Simply put - I tried to stay away. But once I saw the original 15-17/1 number creep above 20, I had to bite. This seems like exactly the right time for him to break his major drought. Not when he is #1 in the world and wining tournaments left and right so all the pressure is on him at say 6 or 8/1 - - - but when many of the 'pundits' or 'experts' are not expecting him to win, and everyone is trying to dampen expectations. He shows up not as the betting favorite, but just outside the Top 5. Of course he can win any time he tees it up, and even despite the personal issues and numerous injuries he has had since his last major win at the 2008 US Open, he has played in 18 majors, making 16 cuts, and owns 9 Top 6s. All of that during the most tumultuous time of his life..
Fast forward to this week, and he is saying all the right things. He is getting stronger every day, says he is pain free for the first time in years, and is playing a course he has fond memories of as he celebrated his major win in 2006 with a tribute to his father, who had recently passed away in May of of that year. He is simply the best at setting a game plan and attacking the course accordingly - which leads me to my concern this week actually.
In 2006, this course was burnt out and Tiger surgically placed irons into these fairways, managing to hit only 1 driver all week and zero fairway bunkers. But today, reports are this place is lush and green, having had a relatively cool and wet summer. And when this course is playing in wet and windy conditions, not only does it get much harder, but there is the need to hit driver off lots of tees. And that concerns me as Driver is Tigers Achilles heel.
But again - Tiger is the best course manager in the game. He loves Links golf and had a penchant for hitting the shot that is needed at the right time. Also, if he is going to reach his lofty goals of beating Nicklaus' major total of 18, he has to get started again somewhere. I just happen to think it's this week, as he flys a touch under the radar, at a Tiger Woods unheard of price north of 20/1.
(As I get time today I'll post more of these 1 by 1. Makes it easier for me to manage the posts, as I am sending from my phone at work... Damn real life getting in the way!)
Back soon with another writeup.