Tiger Woods is the 7/1 favourite for the Open championship at Royal Lytham despite missing the cut in the Greenbrier Classic.
The former world No 1 has won three tournaments this year but is struggling for consistency, with only one other top-10 finish to his credit in his 12 appearances on the PGA Tour this year.
The 36-year-old has won three Open titles but when the event was last played at Lytham in 2001, with Woods at the peak of his powers, he could only finish 25th behind winner David Duval.
Yet Woods played down the significance of his missed cut at the Greenbrier in a tournament where unheralded duo Ted Potter jnr and Troy Kelly contested a play-off.
“I didn't quite have it,” the 14-time major winner said. “I just didn’t have the feel for the distances.
“The ball was just going forever. I didn't hit the ball pin high and that's one of the hallmarks of my game. I can hit pin high pretty consistently and I just didn’t do that at all.
“But it happens. We miss cuts out here.”
British trio Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald, the three men ahead of Woods in the world rankings, are next in the betting but all of them are more than double his odds.
Westwood produced a disappointing performance in the French Open as he finished tied for 40th after suffering an injury scare to his right groin when he slipped on the way to the first tee before the third round.
“I was talking to Richard Sterne's caddie and not looking where I was going as I was walking to the first tee. My left foot went forward about two feet and my right foot stayed.
“I felt like I strained something in my groin in the right leg and just tweaked my right knee as well. I didn’t really have a lot of confidence in it.
“Then as the round went on, I just kept stretching and it seems to have eased up a little bit.
“I’m still a little bit worried. I thought if I stopped it would make it worse and it was better to keep it moving.”
McIlroy is currently off the boil having missed four of his last six cuts and his form is a far cry from last year when he went into the Open having cruised to victory in the US Open a month previously.
Another player who has struggled over the last couple of months is Phil Mickelson, whose superb front nine in the last round of the 2011 Open looked like carrying him to victory until Darren Clarke regained command and went on to win.
‘Lefty’, like his arch-rival Woods, missed the cut in the Greenbrier Classic and is a late entrant into this week’s Scottish Open as he bids to get his game back on track.
The Open championship betting (best odds available)