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Tiger The Overwhelming Favourite, Blitzes Round One in California

Tiger Woods shot a 65 to open the Chevron World Challenge taking a one shot lead over the great Northern Irish pair of Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy.

Tiger made 8 birdies on the day bogeying the final hole to post (-7).  The man with 14 major championships was bombing it long off the tee and taking advantage of his opportunities, possibly a sighting of the supposed ‘old’ Tiger.

The bookmakers were hot on Woods before round one and his stunning opening round has them putting Tiger at better than even money.  Tiger Woods will go off in round two as a considerable (5-6) favourite.

McDowell and McIlroy both continued the fine play that saw the pair on leaderboards all over Europe and Asia in recent months.  The men from Northern Ireland shot identical 66’s and will take aim at Tiger on Friday.

McDowell has had a series of near misses after his win at the Andalucia Masters and he certainly is at a level that has more than a fleeting chance of challenging Woods. 

The bookies have some belief as well sending the current US Open champion off in round two at (11-2).

Just ahead of McDowell is his countryman Rory McIlroy.  Like McDowell, McIlroy has been piling up top-5’s, but just missing out on victory in his recent run on the European Tour.

However, he’s a borderline superstar and won’t blink in squaring off with Tiger.  He finished 5th in both the HSBC Champions and Dubai World Championship in the last month.  Events that both had world class fields.

With recent results of that caliber, it’s hardly arguable that he stands at (4-1).

Dustin Johnson is certainly a man to be taken seriously.  He had two wins on the PGA Tour in 2010 and could very well have been holding Martin Kaymer’s Wanamaker Trophy if not for an egregious rules blunder at this year’s PGA Championship.

In the opening round, Johnson shot a 69 to stand four shots behind Woods in tie for 4th with Stewart Cink and currently stands at (16-1).

Cink, the 2009 Open champion, hasn’t had a top-10 since June while not recording a victory this season.  It seems like an off year for the big man from Georgia, but he snuck up and took the Open a season ago so why can’t he do the same this week?  Regardless, he’s at (25-1) as we await round two.


Golf is a day spent in a round of strenuous idleness  - Anonymous

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