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Tiger Woods not among best bets to win British Open

Updated July 12, 2022 - 8:14 pm

The British Open has produced plenty of unlikely champions, including 500-1 long shots Ben Curtis in 2003 and Todd Hamilton in 2004.

Tiger Woods is bidding to become the latest long shot to win the major this week at the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland. Woods, who won two of his 15 major titles at St. Andrews, saw his odds to win the 150th British Open soar as high as 140-1 at Circa Sports before dropping to 110-1.

Woods is 100-1 at the Westgate SuperBook after sitting at 50-1 in June.

“The odds really get formed this week of the tournament and, in relation to everyone else, it’s just a tall task to ask him to go out there and finish on top of all these golfers playing weekly and in form,” Westgate golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said.

Woods, playing in only his third official tournament since suffering serious injuries in a car crash in February 2021, is the largest liability at the Westgate, BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook. He’s a -120 favorite at the SuperBook to make the cut after opening at -150.

Sherman said the Westgate took some sharp money on Woods to miss the cut after his tee times were announced. Woods, who made the cut at the Masters and the PGA Championship, has a late tee time of 6:59 a.m. Thursday, followed by an early tee time of 1:58 a.m. Friday.

“The first two majors, he played early then late,” Sherman said. “There’s less recovery time for him.”

Sherman and professional handicapper Wes Reynolds, co-host of VSiN’s “Long Shots” golf betting show, don’t recommend a wager on Woods this week. But they’re both banking on Dustin Johnson to contend for the Claret Jug.

Dustin Johnson, 35-1

Sherman said the price is right on the two-time major champion.

“His performance wasn’t that strong this season and he went to LIV. But before that, he was constantly 20-1 or less to win majors,” he said. “He’s coming off a good tournament with LIV and is going to a place where I think he can excel on this course.”

Reynolds noted that the last time the British Open was at St. Andrews in 2015, Johnson was the first- and second-round leader before faltering.

“He has obviously been through a lot personally of late with just getting married and his defection to the LIV Tour. However, it does seem like he is getting closer to his previous form,” said Reynolds (@WesReynolds1). “DJ is only 38 and seems like he still has some golfing greatness in him.”

Tyrrell Hatton, 45-1

Robert MacIntyre, 130-1

Jordan Smith, 150-1

Sherman also bet on six other golfers to win, albeit at better odds, including red-hot Las Vegas resident Xander Schauffele, the 16-1 second choice behind 10-1 favorite Rory McIlroy; U.S. Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick; Hatton; MacIntyre; Ryan Fox; and Smith.

He still recommends plays at current odds on Hatton, MacIntyre and Smith.

“MacIntyre has shown promise the last few years and is from Scotland. Smith has been playing well under the radar in European events,” Sherman said. “This is more open than other majors because of the style of play and variability of weather conditions. You don’t have to invest much at those odds.”

Here are Reynolds’ other best bets (with comments):

Cameron Smith, 25-1

“His top 10 last week in Scotland was his best finish since his tie for third at the Masters.”

Tommy Fleetwood, 46-1

“He has shown well on the Old Course at St. Andrews and once held the course record of 62.”

Tony Finau, 48-1

“Finau has two top 10s on the Old Course at St. Andrews.”

Adam Scott, 110-1

“Seven of the last 11 (British Open) champions have been 32 or older.”

Thomas Pieters, 125-1

“Pieters nearly earned his second win of the season three weeks ago at the BMW International Open before losing a playoff to Haotong Li, courtesy of a 50-foot putt.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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