Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 7/17/13
Tiger Woods’ quest for his 15th major title will continue this week as he takes the tee for the 2013 Open Championship. The last time the PGA superstar won a tournament of this significance was the US Open back in 2008. He hasn’t come out on top at the British Open since 2006 — so why, then, is he continually among the favorites on the golf moneyline? Betting on golf, like betting on any sport, boils down to a combination of reputation and recent history. While Woods’ reputation as a PGA legend is undisputed, what’s easily overlooked is just how close he’s come to winning tournaments over the course of the past two years. Simply put, Woods has 8/1" target="_blank">8-1 odds of winning the British Open because in seven of the past eight Masters tournaments he’s participated in, he’s finished in the top six. Say what you want about Justin Rose’s US Open win from earlier in 2013, or Adam Scott’s Masters championship back in April — Woods has proven time and time again that he’s capable of climbing back to the PGA pedestal he used to dominate not so long ago. The years since 2008 –- when both his personal life and career took a well-publicized turn for the worse –- have been trying for Woods, but don’t think that he hasn’t started to put things back together. There’s a reason oddsmakers are offering just -175 odds for Woods to finish in the top 10 and that his PGA odds of finishing in the top five are +175 — he carries a lot of clout. Woods isn’t alone in his quest of British Open supremacy, however. Phil Mickelson sits in the No. 2 spot on the PGA futures with 14-1 odds of winning the Open Championship. Oddly enough, a win here would be Lefty’s first at this event. The aforementioned Rose follows next with 18-1 odds, trailed by Scott with 20-1. One man to keep close tabs on over the course of the weekend is veteran Ernie Els. Not only is Els the reigning British Open champion, but he has won the title twice.. The last time he won the event, back in 2002, also happens to be the last time the event was held at Muirfield in Gullane, Scotland. If that’s not enough to at least take a flyer on his 28-1 British Open odds, then we don’t know what is.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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