After an 11-week layoff from the PGA Tour, Tiger Woods makes his eagerly-anticipated return to action at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational and his impressive record at the Firestone Country Club may make him a tempting bet at 20/1 in the golf odds.
Woods has not played since pulling out of the Players Championship in May after just nine holes and he has spent the majority of the time in between nursing his left knee and Achilles back into a fit state.
Therefore, after only recently returning to hitting golf balls, it is highly likely that it will take him a few tournaments to get the flow of his swing back and his eye on the target, particularly in terms of his short game.
However, there are reasons to believe that Woods could return with a victory at a course where he has been completely dominant over the years.
Earlier this year at the Masters, Woods was arguably striking his ball as well as ever and he has spent time working with coach Sean Foley in order to progress his game.
Meanwhile, a change of caddie from Steve Williams to Bryon Bell may keep him on his toes and provide some added spark.
But it is his record at Firestone that most promotes his chances, as he is a three-time winner of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at the course and he has triumphed at Firestone seven times in all, which is a record for the most PGA Tour victories at a single venue.
Getting through the tournament without any reoccurrence of his injuries will certainly be the number one aim of Woods and with the event having no cut, he will have to play four rounds unless he pulls out again.
Yet knowing Woods’ mental attitude towards winning and the fact he has such an extensive knowledge of the course in Akron, Ohio, it is certainly not unreasonable to predict that the former world number one will win a tournament for the first time in 23 months.
Other markets available for Woods’ first tournament back include 6/1 that he withdraws at any point in the four rounds, 10/11 that his opening round is over-par and 6/4 that his first tee shot misses the fairway.