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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Tiger Woods 14-1 to win at Copperhead after opening round

Reed can atone for Thursday Valspar Championship errors

Tiger Woods wowed the crowds at Copperhead
1 of 1

Round two
Sky Sports Golf, midday

Tiger Woods was always likely to hog the headlines on day one of the Valspar Championship and so it proved as the 14-time Major champion outshone his threeball rivals with a one-under round of 70.

Woods, playing the Copperhead Course for the first time in his stellar career, gave his supporters plenty to cheer by carding five birdies including an approach that hit the flagstick on the seventh and a tee shot which rolled just inches shy of the hole on the 17th.

He's now into 14-1 to claim a first victory for almost five years after a fine opening round but the same can not be said for his playing partners Jordan Spieth and Henrik Stenson who both shot over-par rounds as Copperhead played tough in windy conditions.

Spieth's putting struggles continued as he carded 76 and the pre-tournament favourite is out to 66-1 from 9-1 while Rory McIlroy was another struggler, slumping to a three-over 74.

Canadian rookie Corey Conners leads the field after a four-under 67. He's one shot ahead of Whee Kim, Kelly Kraft and Nick Watney while Justin Rose, Adam Scott and Sergio Garcia are among the 27 players who are under par after round one.

Woods begins his second round at 12.56pm and is a 2-1 shot to go lowest again but Spieth and Stenson will be determined to improve so Tiger makes little appeal at the prices despite his sparkling Thursday form.

The best bet on Friday may be in taking Patrick Reed to bounce back from a disappointing finish to his opening round in the 5.46pm threeball.

Reed made it to four under with just four holes to play but the US Ryder Cup star faltered badly playing the Bear Trap. He found the water twice at the 16th before a bogey at the closing hole saw him drop back to level par.

But Reed, who was beaten by Spieth in a Valspar playoff in 2015, is still handily positioned and has the confidence to put that behind him and start again when he tees off alongside Chris Kirk and Grayson Murray.

Kirk is the main danger but he has never bettered 42nd place in three Copperhead starts and has twice missed the cut in Florida. Murray, meanwhile, shot a woeful 77 on Thursday and made only 44 per cent of the greens in regulation.

P Reed to win threeball
2pts 6-4 bet365, Betfair, Paddy Power

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Woods, playing the Copperhead Course for the first time in his stellar career, gave his supporters plenty to cheer
E.W. Terms
Sky bet