The third major of the golf calendar is upon us and while he may only be an 18-1 shot to win, Tiger Woods is back in the news.
Woods missed the Masters and U.S. Open after undergoing back surgery. But he’s ready to go at Royal Liverpool.
Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and the usual big names will all be there as well.
But while there will be 156 players vying for the $1.67 million first-place prize, we look at a handful of players who could put money in your pocket.
Justin Rose: 14-1
The last time an Englishman won was 22 years ago, but Rose is tied atop the books. He won June 29 at the National and he’s not a bad choice, even as favorite.
Rory McIlroy: 14-1
He missed the cut at the Irish Open a few weeks ago and would seem an unlikely ch1oice to win.
Adam Scott: 16-1
He hasn’t played a tourney since the U.S. Open, but has two straight top-3 finishes at the British Open.
Rickie Fowler: 33-1
He’s still waiting to break through in a major, but he’s been playing well in every big event this year. He has Top-5 finishes in the WGC Match Play, Masters and U.S. Open.
Bubba Watson: 40-1
Watson’s never had much success at links golf, hence the higher odds, but he does have two wins this season, including the Masters. No one’s playing better, so maybe he solves the Open.
Ian Poulter: 50-1
The Englishman finished third behind Phil Mickelson last season and obviously has plenty of links experience.
But what about Tiger?
Tiger Woods: 18-1
It doesn’t matter that Woods has played just two rounds of competitive golf since March (his own tournament in D.C., where he missed the cut), he’s still fifth on the board because people will put money on him.
Don’t be one of those people. Woods will not be winning this weekend.
If Woods wants to avoid being left off the Ryder Cup squad this fall, he will need to put together some sort of top-10 finish. Otherwise, he will hope to be a captain’s choice.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.