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Tiger Woods ends 11-year relationship – with his putter

| 13.07.2010

Tiger Woods has ditched the putter which helped him win 13 of 14 major titles and swapped it for a newer model he has been using in practice ahead of Thursday’s Open Championship tee-off.

Woods’ price to win the Open had already been pushed out to 6/1 from 5/1 after shaky form led to little interest in the world number from bettors.

His poor putting was a factor in that decision and with Woods now dumping the club he held for the last 11 years it would be a good time to back the player who has twice won the Open at St Andrews.

Ladbrokes’ head golf trader Brad Barry said: “Woods struggled at the weekend so we’ve eased him out.”

“He’s struggling with his putter and despite finishing tied fourth at the US Open his putting was truly atrocious.

“It’s a part of his game that’s often overlooked but if you asked all the golfers on the Tour who had the best putting, 99 per cent of them would say Woods.”

Woods has replaced his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 putter with a Nike Method in a bid to improve matters, with the golfer explaining that the new club lets his puts roll better on the slower greens of links courses.

Woods said: “I’ve always struggled on slower greens and the one I’ve gone to this week comes off faster and I’ve had to make very little adjustment.”

The ‘Method’ putter was used by Stewart Cink (100/1 to win here) during last year’s Open victory and by Lucas Glover (200/1) when he won the 2009 US Open.

Woods hasn’t won a major since the 2008 US Open and has yet to finish top of a PGA Tour event since returning to the game following his self-imposed exile.

His average round is up at over 71, when for the past four seasons it’s been below 69, and he will lose his number one status if Phil Mickelson triumphs at the Open. That’s a 16/1 chance.

Woods has finished tied fourth at both majors so far this year, though, and triumphed at the Old Course in 2000 and 2005. “It’s his favourite course – he loves it,” said Barry.

Ernie Els finished third in last month’s US Open and is 20/1 to win the Open for the second time after his 2002 victory. See the full Open Championship betting market.

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Author

John Klee