There are many reasons why no one may ever come close to being as great as Tiger Woods. One recent indicator is the odds list for the major championships. There will probably never be a sustained run of dominance like the "Tiger Woods era." He was the favorite at every single tournament he entered, and often at an absurdly low rate. We probably won't ever see the kind of odds Tiger got at the majors. For years, he'd walk to the first tee of the most important championships as an overwhelming 3/1 favorite. That's crazy for golf.
Rory McIlroy appeared as if he'd take the torch from Woods and be the favorite at every major he entered for several years. But that notion has been wiped away over the past year. We thought we had a "Big Three" with Rory, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day. We thought.
But now comes Dustin Johnson, who should rightly be called the hottest golfer in the world. He's always had the talent to be as good or better than any of the big three, and now he's finally got that major championship in his pocket. DJ has won his last two events, the U.S. Open and a prestigious WGC title. He remains one of the two or three best drivers in the game, an advantage that plays just about everywhere in the world and on every course. It's awe-inspiring to watch him blast away off the tee. And now he's one of the best wedge players in the world, gaining significant strokes on the field from 150 yards and in. The putting is not the strongest part of his game, but it's not putting him at a disadvantage relative to the field.
So DJ has all the tools, is playing the best golf in the world and has a history of showing well at The Open. This is not some world-class player who struggles in the wind and rain or cannot adapt to links golf. He's one of a few to make the last five cuts in Britain and was right there in 2011 at Royal St. George's. He also looked like he'd run away at St. Andrews last year at the 36-hole mark. The talent is too immense for DJ not to have had his chances at every major, and this is one where he's made some runs. The form, the history and the talent should have him as the favorite for The Open.
Unless you're Tiger Woods, however, being the favorite in golf means the value is probably not there. DJ is listed at 9/1 at the start of the week, just slightly behind Day, the world No. 1, at 8/1. McIlroy and Spieth are both 10/1, so you could say there are four co-favorites for the 145th Open at Royal Troon. After the first four, it drops to 20/1, which is better value but still not great for a golf tournament with a 156-man field.
|Player||Odds to Win|
|Rafael Cabrera Bello||80/1|
|Byeong Hun An||150/1|
|Miguel Angel Jimenez||300/1|
|Harold Varner III||300/1|
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