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Last Updated: Friday, 11 July, 2003, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
Ones to watch: Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods
Born: 30/12/75
World ranking: 1
Career wins: 38
Major wins: 1997 Masters, 1999 USPGA, 2000 US Open, 2000 Open, 2000 USPGA, 2001 Masters, 2002 Masters, 2002 US Open
Open best: Winner 2000

When it comes to the hot favourite at the Open, there is only one name on everyone's lips - Tiger Woods.

Woods goes to Royal St George's in search of his ninth major, having established himself as the finest golfer of the modern era.

His awesome talent, good looks and attacking style of play have helped rewrite the record books and take the sport to unprecedented heights of popularity across the world.

He won his first major at the Masters in 1997 - a year after turning professional - and, in April 2001, became the first player in history to hold all four majors at the same time after victory in the Masters.

But, seemingly unstoppable at one stage, Woods has since proved that even he can slip up from time to time.

After winning at St Andrews by eight strokes in 2000, the 27 year old has failed to live up to his hype at the past two Opens, and even posted a career-worst round of 81 at Muirfield last year.

For the first time in three years, he goes into this tournament without being the reigning champion of at least one Major.

But four ATP wins this term, including this month's Western Open, suggest talk of a slump is definitely premature, especially for a self-confessed lover of links golf.

Strength: His all-round strength and artillery of shots. His aura also intimidates other players.

Weakness: As an attacking golfer, Woods can come unstuck when he fails to play it safe.




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