Tiger Woods To Play British Open With Justin Rose And Camilo Villegas

July 12, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

Tiger Woods will try to remain as the world’s No. 1 ranked golfer with a win at the 2010 British Open.  Phil Mickelson is breathing down the top-ranked golfer’s neck, but has failed in his last five attempts to take the ranking from Woods.

Justin Rose is one of the players in Tiger’s group at St. Andrews, and is one of the hottest player in golf right now.  He is currently ranked among the top-five in the world on the money list, and has two wins in his last three PGA starts.  The Englishman has also recorded four top-10 finishes this season on the tour.

Rose’s two wins this season came at The Memorial Tournament presented by Morgan Stanley, and the AT&T National held just last weekend.  In between those two wins, Rose finished in ninth at the Traveler’s Championship.  He is ranked third on the tour with 4.07 birdies per round.  He is also ranked eighth on the tour with a 59.8 sand-save percentage.

The way the Old Course is set up should play to Rose’s advantage.  The course is famous for being the most difficult at St. Andrews, and features clusters of bunkers.  The way Rose has been playing this year should give him a slight advantage over the competition.

Camilo Villegas will be the third companion with Woods and Rose at the British Open this weekend.  Villegas is ranked 11th in the world on the money list coming into the tournament, but is not expected to give the leaders much of a fight.  He is not ranked in the top-10 in any category, and has only participated in two events so far this season.

Woods has not won a tour event since coming back from a five-month hiatus to deal with his many off-course issues.  He is in danger of losing his world No. 1 ranking to Phil Mickelson if “Lefty” can finish as the winner.

Rose is not the only British player coming into St. Andrews on a hot streak.  Graeme McDowell has won the last two tournaments he has participated in at the Wales Open, and the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

Lee Westwood is the highest ranked European in the world at No. 3, and has been paired with Miguel Angel Jimenez and Adam Scott.  Defending champion Stewart Cink will be playing with Ernie Els and Ian Poulter.

Woods won the British Open the last two British Open tournaments held at St. Andrews, but failed to make the cut last year.  Cink won the tournament last year in dramatic fashion over the ageless Tom Watson.

USA sportsbooks have set Woods as the favorite to win the tournament beginning Thursday at +250 odds.  Mickelson and Westwood are favored just behind Woods at +1000, and +1200 respectively

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