Injuries and personal problems may have affected his form but Tiger Woods remains the biggest draw in golf and he will be missed at Royal St Georges next week.
The former world number one has slipped to 17th in the world rankings having failed to win a tournament since 2009, but three top-five finishes in his last five Major championships tell us Woods still possesses the skills that made him one of golf’s greats.
It could be a while before we see Wood’s back in action and there are doubts about his participation in the final Major of the year at the Atlanta Athletic Club, Georgia in August.
Woods has a month to get ready for the US PGA Championship, but in the mean time the biggest Major of the year is coming up next week and the professionals will be happy to see Woods’ name off the entry list.
Rory McIlroy remains the solid favourite after his stunning performance in the US Open and Woods’ withdrawal has seen more support for the Ulsterman who has been backed in to 6/1 from 7/1.
Had McIlroy not collapsed so spectacularly in the final round of the Masters he would be entering the Open with both the Masters and US Open titles to his name, and as he’s shot under par in 13 of his last 16 Major rounds, it’s hard to see anyone defeating him.
World number one Luke Donald is 16/1 to win the Open with the ever-consistent Lee Westwood second favourite at 10/1.
Europeans fill the first five places in the Open betting with Martin Kaymer available at 20/1 and, surprisingly, Sergio Garcia at 25/1.
While he has never won a Major, Garcia has come close in the Open on a number of occasions and having found his best form in recent weeks, the Spaniard has every chance.
Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar and Nick Watney are the favoured Americans and they join Graeme McDowell and Jason Day at 33/1.