Woods clear favourite after staying in Olympic race at US Open

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Hopes were high for Tiger Woods at the US Open before he even hit a ball after his success at Memorial and his first round at The Olympic Club has only strengthened the view that he can win a 15th career major.

After being 7/1 ahead of the tournament, Woods is now clear favourite at 5/2 after firing a one-under 69 in San Francisco, which leaves him three adrift of surprise leader Michael Thompson.

In fact, only six players broke par on the opening day on what was described as the toughest US Open course in over 20 years.

However, Woods made it look easier than what it was, following a solid game plan, while others around him capitulated.

Woods rarely took driver from the tee and was regularly in prime position to avoid serious tournament-ending mistakes.

The same cannot be said of playing partners Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson, who struggled with course management and now face difficulty in ending round two in the top 60 to make the cut.

Thompson is 25/1 to win the US Open despite his advantage, but punters expecting him to collapse may want to remember that he finished second at The Olympic Club at the 2007 US Amateur Championship.

Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell are among the other five players to shoot a 69, but Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk and KJ Choi may all be worth considering for victory at decent prices.

Kuchar and Furyk both found 16 greens in regulation, the most of the round, and both will be happy to start with a 70.

They are 14/1 to win the US Open.

Meanwhile, Choi may be three-over, but he was one-under for a long time before a run of poor holes.

Choi is 100/1, but has the capability of keeping it tight in the coming days to creep back into contention.

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.