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Home : Golf NewsBack to News

But Fowler is the hot favorite

 

Tiger Woods is back to have another a stab at victory in this week's Quicken Loan National.

At 12/1, the bookmakers have generally rated him second favourite only to Rickie Fowler at 13/2.

They have positioned him ahead of Australian Marc Leishman at 18/1, Italy's Francesco Molinari and defending champion Kyle Stanley at 22/1 and fellow Americans JB Holmes and Charles Howell III at 28/1.

But even in a US PGA Tour field weakened by the start of an exodus to Europe ahead of next month's Open Championship, and a seeming unwillingness on the part of most big guns to play on a par-70 course, the TPC Potomac in Maryland, that averaged 71.458 last year and has been described as tough enough to host a major, the forty-old Tiger has yet to produce in his comeback from a long injury-enforced layoff the kind of consistent form required to confidently suggest that winning again is a strong possibility.

A win by Tiger is always a possibility, but right now it's not a strong one.

He's come close yes but then brought back doubt only a week or two later about whether he'll ever get back, or even near. to being head and shoulders above the rest of the world as he was at the time when he was capturing his 14 majors and 79 US PGA Tour titles.

In the circumstances we instead, perhaps, should be looking at Fowler, Leishman, Molinari, the chubby but potent-putting Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat, American major champions Jimmy Walker and Stuart Cink, proven US Tour winners like Stanley, Holmes, Howell and Billy Horschel and even at up-and-coming young guns like Texan Beau Hossler who so far has managed to make a Tour playoff - at this year's Houston Open where he lost to Ian Poulter - but is still seeking his breakthrough maiden victory.

Fowler, who at No 8 in the World is the highest-ranked player in the field and has a legitimate claim to currently being the best golfer never to have won a major is the standout favourite this week, both in the eyes of the bookies and those of most fantasy golf tipsters

He has still to win this year, but he has picked up two seconds in his last three starts and boosted by his 3rd place tie here last year, he looks a good bet to finally do it this week.

It is certainly not out of the question, though, that Stanley, who lost a playoff at Muirfield Village a month or so ago and looks to be coming into the defence of his title in better form than he was when he won it, could join double US Open Champion Brooks Koepke as this year's second back-to-back winner.

This especially if he can once more produce the superbly accurate stroke play that carried him to victory on a course rated last year as the most difficult par-70 outside of the majors.

It is going to be a hot week at TPC Potomac, but less wind this year might give it fewer teeth and see more birdies and fewer bogies popping up on the scoreboard in what will be the last Quicken Loans National to be played here for a while.

In 2019 and for a good few years after that the event will be played in the Detroit area following the announcement a month ago that the title sponsors had signed a new, long-term agreement with the PGA Tour that would see, among other things, the event moved to a course in their hometown.

LEADING ODDS
(Tuesday a.m. June 26, 2018)

Rickie Fowler 13/2
Tiger Woods 12/1
Marc Leishman 18/1
Francesco Molinari 22/1
Kyle Stanley 22/1
JB Holmes 28/1
Charles Howell III 28/1
Beau Hossler 30/1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat 35/1
Kevin Na 35/1
Jimmy Walker 35/1
Byeong-Hun An 40/1
Patrick Rodgers 40/1
Joaquin Niemann 40/1
Billy Horschel 45/1
Stewart Cink 45/1
Kevin Streelman 45/1
Jamie Lovemark 45/1
Gary Woodland 50/1
David Lingmerth 50/1.

Note: For all the latest odds go to www.oddschecker.com/golf/quicken-loans-national/winner.

Visit BetWay for other bet options.  

Neville Leck

Written by neville@golfweather.com.