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Tiger means business at turnberry

india Updated: Jul 15, 2009 22:54 IST
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If history is any guide, there can only be one winner of the 138th Open Championship, which tees off in Turnberry on Thursday.

Turnberry has a good claim to be regarded as the most picturesque of all the venues on the Open rota, but what really makes local chests swell with pride is the Ailsa Course's unrivalled ability to produce champions recognised by their peers as the world's best.

If the record is to continue, the only outcome can be a Tiger Woods' triumph and the world No 1, a conscientious student of the history of the sport he dominates, acknowledges there can be no excuses if he is not atop the leaderboard by the end of Sunday afternoon.

“It just shows that you just can’t fake it around this golf course. You have to hit good shots,” Tiger said.

Woods had only just gone under the knife when last year's Open was contested and he was too preoccupied to pay too much attention to the action at Royal Birkdale.

He did, however, take in the climax of a tournament that saw Padraig Harrington clinch his second consecutive Open title with a nerveless display over the closing holes.

The premium on long, straight driving has convinced many that Lee Westwood is the most likely man to become the first home winner of the world's oldest Major since Paul Lawrie won at Carnoustie in 1999.

Paul Casey, currently No 3 in the world, and Ian Poulter, runner-up to Harrington last year, also look capable of joining the ranks of Major winners but it is hard to make a compelling case for anyone other than Tiger.