Westwood allays injury fears and will play at the Open

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Despite struggling with a calf injury, Lee Westwood has confirmed that he will play at the Open.

A 20/1 contender to win at St Andrews, Westwood was visibly in pain at the French Open, and he had to miss last week’s Scottish Open to recover from the strain.

The world number three is due to tee off alongside Miguel Angel Jimenez and Adam Scott at 13:42 BST on Thursday afternoon.

Westwood’s confirmed presence is a boost to hopes of a British winner. Scotland’s Paul Lawrie was the last British player to win the Open, at Carnoustie in 1999.

There will, however, be a clutch of British contenders out to claim the claret jug this year.

Ian Poulter is 33/1 to win his first major title, while fellow Englishmen Luke Donald and Paul Casey are available at 40/1.

Players from Northern Ireland will also be integral to British hopes, with Rory McIlroy a joint second favourite to win the Open at 16/1 and Graeme McDowell 33/1 to score his second major of the year following his US Open triumph.

In his recovery from injury, Westwood will be able to take inspiration from Tiger Woods, who won the 2008 US Open with a severely damaged left knee.

Nick Faldo was the last Englishman to win the Open in 1992, but having been passed fit, Westwood will be confident of ending his country’s wait for a champion when he takes to the tee at St Andrews.

Who could stand in Westwood’s way? Tiger Woods is the 5/1 favourite to win the Open. See the full 2010 Open Championship market.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.