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Tiger Woods biggest liability at Westgate for British Open

Tiger Woods will be back for the British Open and so will his backers.

Bettors are loading up on Woods at long odds to win the year’s final major from July 14 to 17 at St. Andrews in Scotland.

The 15-time major champion is the largest liability at the Westgate SuperBook, which is already on the hook for six figures on Woods after taking a bet for more than $1,000 at 50-1 and a $400 wager to win $24,000 at his current odds of 60-1.

Woods hasn’t played since May 21, when he withdrew from the PGA Championship after limping his way to a 9-over 79 in the third round at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He announced on Twitter on June 7 that he was skipping the U.S. Open “as my body needs more time to get stronger for major championship golf.”

Woods missed most of last year with severe leg injuries suffered in a car crash in February 2021. He returned to the PGA Tour in April at the Masters, where he finished with back-to-back 78s for a total score of 13 over, his worst score at Augusta National.

“With his lack of playing competitive golf, you just can’t expect him to step on this stage and win,” Westgate golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said of bumping Woods up from 50-1 to 60-1. “Just look at the depth of the tour.”

Sherman said Woods simply making the cut at his third straight major this year would be impressive.

“If he goes 3-for-3 in made cuts at majors, that is an absolute victory, considering the situation,” he said. “This is a course much more conducive to what he’s going through right now. It’s not as tough of a walking course as the Masters and PGA were. It’s more wide open.”

Woods is third in tickets behind Jordan Spieth and Las Vegas resident Collin Morikawa and second in money wagered behind Brooks Koepka on the British Open at the Westgate.

Rory McIlroy is the 12-1 favorite to win the 150th British Open. Jon Rahm and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler are each 14-1. PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas is 16-1, and Morikawa is 20-1.

U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick is tied for the 25-1 sixth choice with Spieth, Will Zalatoris, Shane Lowry and Las Vegas resident Xander Schauffele.

Sherman said he kept Fitzpatrick’s odds at 25-1 after he held off Zalatoris and Scheffler for a one-stroke victory Sunday at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.

“Anything higher is too high for the British the way he’s playing,” Sherman said. “It’s difficult for anyone to win back-to-back majors. Look at Justin Thomas.

“The tour’s just so deep and so talented.”

Only six golfers have won the U.S. Open and British Open in the same year: Woods, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen and Bobby Jones.

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

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