Bettors have made Tiger Woods—along with Phil Mickelson—the odds-on favorite to win the US Open Champion for 2010. Both are ensconsed at 13/2. It’s a curious thing, though, since Tiger is clearly struggling both off the tee, and on the greens—two place where a player absolutely has to succeed to win a US Open. Johnny Miller noted it in a recent New York Post interview:
Q: Since Tiger Woods has dumped his swing coach Hank Haney, have you seen an improvement?
A: He hit the ball pretty decently at the Memorial and felt pretty good about it. In some ways that scares me if I’m a Tiger fan, because six years ago that would have been an utter failure. Now he seems to take some confidence from that. That sort of shows where his game’s at. The old player is somewhere else right now; if it’s going to show up anywhere it will be at Pebble. He loves Pebble.
Q: And what are the chances of that happening?
A: It would still take a small miracle for him to win the U.S. Open right now. He’s struggling with the driver and hitting half the fairways is not going to get it done. But Tiger has some awful good feeling about the Open there and what happened last time (winning by 15 strokes). But he’s a whole different cat now. His game’s not too sharp.
Q: Can Woods come close to regaining the form he had back in 2000 when he dominated at Pebble Beach?
A: A lot of golfers get burned out around his age—it happened with Jack, it happened with me. Tiger will have a second career, but personally I think his best golf has definitely been played. He can have a second career that is as good as Phil’s career, which is still pretty terrific, but that’s the best-case scenario. I just think he has a lot of scar tissue from a lot of things now.
Oddsmakers must be hoping that Tiger can regain some of the magic he experienced ten years ago when he lapped the field at Pebble Beach.
I’m also skeptical of Phil’s chances—although as a fan of Figjam, I’m hopeful. He seems to have a lot of fun when he plays, and it would be nice to see him win.
Rounding out the top ten are Lee Westwood at 10/1, Padraig Harrington at 16/1, Ernie Els and Rory McIlroy at 20/1, Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk at 28/1, and Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, Geoff Ogilvy and Camilo Villegas at 33/1.
I’d bet the eventual winner is someone from outside that short list. My biggest dream would be for Tom Watson or Fred Couples to win, but that’s not going to happen. Perhaps Sean O’Hair, Luke Donald, Zach Johnson or Tim Clark.
You can see the full odds for winning the US Open Championship after the break, courtesy of Bodog Sports:
|Miguel Angel Jimenez||125/1|
|The Field ( Any Other Golfer||5/2|