Tiger Woods enters the 2012 U.S. Open as the favorite to win golf's second major tournament of the year. The people who run the numbers on this sort of thing gave him 13/2 odds on Wednesday morning, a day before the opening round of the tournament.
Of course, Woods was also favored at the Masters. Is there something different working in his favor this time? In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Woods explained his status entering the U.S. Open:
"When I went into Augusta, I did not feel comfortable," he said. "I got back into a lot of my old patterns." By contrast this week, he said, he has retained the rock solid control he had at Memorial, where he hit 13 of 14 fairways. That's a good omen for the notoriously tight fairways of a U.S. Open. His weakest statistic at Memorial was putting. But he said he holed all the critical short putts he faced. The odds makers have Woods as the favorite this week.
Woods will have be swinging straight and true at The Olympic Club, one of the most unforgiving places to play. SB Nation's Brian Floyd explains the task at hand for Woods:
There's no question Woods is the favorite, but he was at The Masters, too. And we all saw what happened. If he's striking the ball well -- and he's been pretty good during his practice rounds -- watch out. If he's fighting his swing, his week will spiral out of control in a hurry. The Olympic Course is too punishing for his swing to be even just a bit off.
Woods tees off Thursday morning at 7:33 a.m.