TIGER WOODS has been knocked off the top of the betting in a Major for the first time this century.
Phil Mickelson is the man with the honours at 14-1 with Ladbrokes and totesport while Irish pair Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington are next in the running. McIlroy is 16-1 with bodog with former winner Harrington 20-1 at Ladbrokes and Stan James.
Whistling Straits is a tough track with a links feel to it and that could play into the hands of the Europeans.
Woods has been friendless with punters after last week while Mickelson also looked out of sorts as he fired a final-round 78 when chasing the No.1 spot.
Paul Casey finished ahead of McIlroy and Harrington at St Andrews and I was impressed with the way he tried to stay in touch with Louis Oosthuizen before admitting defeat in the run-in.
When betting outright on Majors each-way is the best policy and remember six of the past seven winners of the big events have started out at prices of 80-1 or more.
Others to consider are South Africa's Retief Goosen who finished third last week and American Steve Stricker, another chasing Tiger's top ranking.
Stricker ended a mini slump last week with a ninth-placed finish and is desperate to land his first Major. He is 15-1 with bodog while Goosen is 35-1 at totesport.
He can claim top spot if Woods is out of the top 24 and Mickelson out of the top three. Woods is 1-6 with Paddy Power to retain the No.1 ranking with Mickelson 7-2.
Woods is 7-2 with Paddy Power for a top-five finish but on current form is more likely to miss the cut at 2-1 with the Irish firm.
In a move that speaks volumes for Tiger’s mood Paddy Power believe Woods is more likely to hit a round of 80 or worse at 2-1 than fire 64 or lower at 8-1.