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Jun 26, 2014 | 11:00 AM

Open Odds

Tiger Woods started his first competitive round of golf since early March today at 8:10 a.m. on the 10th tee of Congressional Country Club. He’s coming off back surgery and hasn’t won a major since 2008. But neither of those facts has stopped him from being declared a co-favorite (along with Rory McIlroy) at 10/1 odds to win this year’s British Open at Royal Liverpool in England next month. Who has such confidence? That would be Ladbroke’s, the 128-year-old English gaming and online betting company, who are trying to stir up some action among the punters 21 days ahead of the season’s third major. Speaking of the majors, Ladbroke’s has U.S. Open winner Martin Kaymer and defending Open champion Phil Mickelson at 16/1, while it’s not looking as promising for Masters champion Bubba Watson, who is listed at 33/1. As for this week’s tournament, where Tiger hopes to shake off the rust in preparation for Royal Liverpool? His odds of winning are pegged at 14/1, trailing only Jason Day at 12/1.  

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Jun 25, 2014 | 04:05 PM

Home Hunter

We know tour pros have it good, what with all the travel to the best courses and resorts in the world, the beautiful wives, and free range balls, but we didn't know they had it this good! Check out Hunter Mahan's Dallas mansion, which just came on the market for $9.5 million. The 16,655-square-foot, five-bedroom, six-full-bath home comes with a 12-car subterranean garage with a mural of Augusta National, a man cave with a gym and golf simulator, and a basketball court. There's also a mosaic-tiled pool with a spa and fire pit, as well as a guest casita, wine cellar, and full outdoor kitchen. Hunter, who made more than $7 million on and off the course last year, is married to a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Some guys have all the luck.

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Jun 24, 2014 | 09:59 AM

Match 22

We all know this year’s Ryder Cup is at Gleneagles. Some of us know the 2016 edition will be at Hazeltine. And true RC junkies can recite the sites for 2018 (Le Golf National, Paris), 2020 (Whistling Straits) and 2024 (Bethpage Black). But no one knows where the great match will be played in 2022. That’s because the European Tour has just this week opened the bidding process. Bids will be welcomed from all nations whose players are eligible for selection to the European Team. For the 2018 matches, Germany, Holland, Portugal, and Spain all entered before France won out—expect all four of them to bid again. Turkey has expressed interest, and there are also rumblings that The Belfry (England)—site of the 1985, 1989, 1993, and 2002 matches—wants a fifth Cup. But money talks when it comes to RC site selection, so expect Donald Trump to be in there for Ireland with a bid from Doonbeg, and maybe one from Scotland, too, although there he’ll have a quandary. With his recent acquisition of Turnberry (pictured above), he now has two high-profile Scottish links courses—and no nation (or mogul) is allowed to submit more than one bid. The winner will be announced in the fall of 2015.

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Jun 23, 2014 | 11:21 AM

Tiger Time

While the past weekend was mostly about the ladies—notably Michelle Wie, Lucy Li, and Stacy Lewis, all of whom put on a great show—there was big news from the men, too: the return of Tiger Woods. Last Friday, Woods used his Facebook page to announce that he’ll be playing this weekend at the Quicken Loans National event, held at Congressional CC outside Washington, D.C., and benefitting the Tiger Woods Foundation. As you might expect, there was great joy over the news, from “Tiger is back” ads on TV (the tournament will be broadcast Thursday and Friday on Golf Channel, on CBS over the weekend) to the reaction of other pros. “He is the face of golf for the last 15, 20 years and golf is a better sport and better place with Tiger Woods in it,” said Rory McIlroy, no doubt echoing the sentiments of many players (as well as their accountants and agents). But Tiger’s return also begs many questions: How will he do, how will he feel (his three-month absence was due to back pain and resulting disc surgery), when will he play again, and will he be ready for the British Open (in three weeks), PGA Championship (three weeks later), and the Ryder Cup? Speaking of the Ryder Cup, as of today, Tiger sits at 67th on the points list to automatically qualify for the U.S. team. But assuming he is healthy, does anyone think Tom Watson wouldn’t make him a captain’s pick? Would you leave him off the team? Discuss.

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