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Woods Favorite at British Open

After coming up short at The Masters and the U.S. Open Tiger Woods gets another shot at a Major victory this week at a course he's dominated in the British Open.

The British Open returns to the Old Course at St. Andrews this week, and in the past that has meant an easy victory for Tiger. In 2000 Woods won his first British Open championship at St. Andrews in grand fashion after shooting 19 under par in the tournament. That was eight strokes better than Thomas Bjorn and Ernie Els, who tied for second place at 11 under.

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Woods ruled at St. Andrew again with a win in 2005. He only shot 14 under that time, but still defeated second place finisher Colin Montgomerie by five strokes. At Bovada Woods is the favorite this year at St. Andrews at +450 despite not winning a single tournament so far this season. Woods had better hope he at least performs better at St. Andrews than he did last year at Turnberry, where he missed the cut in a Major for only the second time in his career.

While Woods struggled at Turnberry last year Stewart Cink won his first Major championship. Cink shot 2 under par in the tournament and defeated sentimental favorite Tom Watson in a playoff. Cink heads to St. Andrews, where he missed the cut in 2005, as a +8000 underdog at Bovada to repeat.

Watson, who received an exemption to play in another British Open, tied for 41st at St. Andrews in 2005 and is a +10000 longshot to add a sixth British Open title this year.

Following Woods on the odds list as usual is Phil Mickelson at +1000, although Lefty has never had much luck at the Open. Mickelson skipped the Open last season after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. His best career finish in the Open was third place in 2004 at Royal Troon, but that is his only Top 10 finish. He tied for 60th at St. Andrews in 2005 and just last week in his tune-up in the Scottish Open he missed the cut.

The smart pick for bettors this weekend could be Justin Rose +1500 at Bovada. Rose is playing some of the best golf of career lately with two wins and a ninth-place finish in his last three tournaments. Rose did not qualify to play in The Masters and the U.S. Open this season, but that may be meaningless if he can continue his red-hot play.

Rose made waves at the Open as an amateur in 1998 when he tied for fourth, but since then his best finish at the Open is tying for 12th in 2007. Look for him to better than that at St. Andrews as he tries to become the first Englishman to win the Open since Nick Faldo in 1992.