Woods’ British Open chances improve as two key rivals withdraw

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Tiger Woods remains the favourite to win the Open Championship for the fourth time at 6/1 and his chances have received a substantial boost by the news that two of his leading rivals will be missing from the field at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

US Open champion Webb Simpson will miss the chance to attempt to win successive majors as instead he has opted to stay at home with his wife, who is on the verge of having their second child.

It is the factor of being a father that is also the reason for Jason Day missing the third major of the year, with his wife only recently giving birth to their first son.

The Australian has chosen to stay at home with his new family.

Simpson finished in a share of 16th at the Open Championship last season on his first appearance and it could have been so much better had he built on a 66 in the opening round.

Meanwhile, his absence means that it is the second time in five years that the US Open champion has failed to appear at the Open Championship, with Woods the other guilty party in 2008.

Day has never really threatened to prevail in the Open Championship, but he did show a major pedigree last year when finishing runner-up at both the Masters and the US Open.

Woods has not won a major for four years, but is arguably enjoying his best form in this period at present, with three victories in 2012 and the lowest scoring average on the whole of the PGA Tour.

Furthermore, Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald are towards the top of the Open Championship betting, but McIlroy is on a run of missed cuts at present, while Donald just cannot seem to get his game in order in majors.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.