Tiger Woods is back, and even though he hasn't quite regained his top form, the sport is simply more fun to follow when he's competing.
Despite missing the cut at the Quicken Loans National, heading into the 2014 British Open, Woods is listed as one of the favorites to win.
Here's a look at the odds per Vegas Insider:
Per Ewan Murray of The Guardian, golf great Nick Faldo talked about the Woods dynamic:
Tiger is the most compelling golfer in the world. You want to watch and study everything: good, bad, ugly and everything in between. It’s amazing that he has played two rounds of golf and he’s the favourite. Incredible. If he feels he’s come with the right gameplan, we shall see. It’s a tough game to play when you are rusty. You learn from every day, you pick something up. It’s not so easy for him, he’s nearly 39. But he’s Tiger, you never know what he’s going to do.
The action will begin on July 17 and run through July 20 from the Royal Liverpool Golf Course in Hoylake, England. Woods seems psyched to take aim on the historic course.
Per Kyle Porter of CBS Sports, Woods talked about his calculated return.
Congressional was big for me. The fact I could go out there and play and I got better as the days went on. It was a little bit eerie and iffy if that was going to happen or not, especially with how hard I was hitting the ball. But I've got my speed back, which is nice, and I'm starting to hit the ball out there again. I'm only going to get stronger. As the weeks go on, I'm getting strong and faster.
The second tournament is really the event that should tell where Woods is. He is 38 years old now. His time to accomplish his goal of catching Jack Nicklaus' major championships record is growing short. Every opportunity to win a big event will be magnified for Woods.
The fact that he's being looked at as a favorite will only increase the pressure. Then again, that's nothing Woods isn't used to. There's increased reason for optimism in this event.
The last time the Open was held at Royal Liverpool was in 2006. Woods won the event that year, so there's positive history associated with he and the course.
Another major tournament and another set of high expectations for McIlroy. At 15/1 odds, McIlroy is considered just as sure of a bet as Woods heading in.
McIlroy has just one win this season, and he didn't crack the top five at the Masters or the U.S. Open. He seems to be doomed by the one dreadful day that has killed his chances.
At the Masters, McIlroy's abysmal Round 2 was his undoing. At the U.S. Open, his third round was the problematic quarter of his performance. Will he be able to escape a day of calamity in England?
Scott has surged to the No. 1 overall ranking in the sport, but he hasn't been able to conquer his demons in The Open. Back in 2012, he blew a four-shot lead on the final day to come up short.
Scott has had a few other close calls in the season's third major as well.
With his confidence at an all-time high, Scott seems prepared to keep himself in position to breakthrough. Per the Sydney Morning Herald, the native Australian said this about his previous struggles in The Open: "You've got to make the right decision at the right time and the last couple of years I haven't done that at The Open.
We'll find out soon whether Scott can get the monkey off his back.