Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tiger Woods is Masters favorite despite rustiness

Tiger Woods will enter the unknown when he tees off in Thursday's opening round of the U.S. Masters for his first outing for nearly five months but he has been made the tournament favorite.


The world number one, who took a break from golf when his private life spectacularly unraveled at the end of last year amid allegations of extra-marital affairs, has been installed as 6-1 favorite by British bookmakers Ladbrokes.

Fellow American Phil Mickelson is rated at 14-1 with South African Ernie Els third best at 16-1.

"Tiger going off as a 6-1 chance prior to his problems would have been unheard of but we're prepared to take a chance following his self-imposed exile," Ladbrokes spokesman Nick Weinberg said in a news release on Wednesday.

Ladbrokes also offered special odds for other Woods-related incidents.

The 14-times major winner, a four-times champion at Augusta National, is 100-1 to record an ace and 5-1 to launch his opening tee shot into the trees.

Woods is 5-4 to register at least five birdies in his first round.

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