Belfast Telegraph

The Punter: Firestone is just the ticket for Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has seen his form dip over the last year and the real test of the world’s number one will come in the Bridgestone Invitational which gets underway tomorrow afternoon.

This is his most successful tournament, having won it for the seventh time last year and hence a price of 5-1 to equal Sam Snead’s record of eight victories at the same event, would appear to be a steal.

In 10 previous starts at the Firestone Country Club, Tiger has a cumulative 103 under par with 29 rounds in the 60s and has never finished worst than a tied fourth place.

But on the downside, he comes into the event after a tied 23rd spot in the Open and has only two top-10 finishes in seven tournaments this year.

Putting has been his downfall and his place at the top of the heap is under threat from both Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood.

But if anyone can bounce back, it’s Woods and that 5-1 with 1/4 of the odds the first five, should be taken. Next best in the market is Mickelson and Westwood at 12s and Padraig Harrington (14-1).

Tiger must do well this week if he is to keep alive his automatic place on the Ryder Cup team. He has slipped out of the guaranteed frame and it would be somewhat embarrassing for both if captain Corey Pavin had to make him a wild card pick.

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