Open Championship: This may be the last time we’ll see Tiger at St Andrew’s – so enjoy it

There's a lot of sub-plots around the world's greatest player ahead of Thursday's tee-off in Scotland.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

This week’s winner of the Claret Jug will go down in history as the 150th edition of the Open Championship comes to a conclusion at the Old Course in St Andrew’s.

A lot of familiar names are being talked about as potential winners but Paddy Power trader Iain McLoughlin and Sporting Life columnist Ben Coley reckon fan favourites’ Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods may struggle.

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Ben Coley

Will Tiger Woods make the cut?

You can never put anything past Tiger Woods. The most impressive stats of Tiger’s career come from his ability to make it to the weekend. It’s just phenomenal. The will of the man and his ability to force his way through the cut number. I wouldn’t be rushing to bet against him doing it.

What I would say though is that physically – he looks in bad condition. I saw some video of him swinging the club at the weekend and it looked slow and difficult.

Tiger watchers at St Andrew’s have said how gingerly he’s been moving. We probably all assumed he would gradually get better over time on his return to golf in April from his car accident, but it seems that the more golf he plays, his condition gets worse.

My main message this week is that it may be the last time we see Tiger Woods on the Old Course at St Andrew’s – so enjoy it while it lasts.

I just hope he can play four rounds in relative comfort and gets the send off he deserves from an appreciative crowd who’ll roar on his every shot.

Iain McLaughlin

What are Rory’s chances? 

Rory McIlroy comes into the Open Championship in as good form as he’s been in for a while. He has has a favourite’s chance, but it is arguable that conditions this week won’t suit him.

He’s won most of his Majors on courses that played soft and long, but St Andrew’s could play ‘short’ given the forecast of dry, sunny days. The tournament could be won by the best wedge players over the four days as the conditions will allow the ball to run and run even for the short hitters, so the tee-box bombers won’t have as big an advantage in driving distance.

There’s just players at bigger prices – like the in-form Xander Schauffele – who may be better suited to conditions than Rory McIlroy is.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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