Tiger Woods’ Stunning Masters Win: Devastating Blow to Sportsbooks

by Taylor Smith
on April 15, 2019
5

Minute Read

Tiger Woods once again captured the attention of the sports world over the weekend, winning The Masters for the fifth time in his career and the first time in 14 years. His win at Augusta also snapped an 11-year drought between Major victories. For one sports bettor, it had perhaps an equally-tremendous impact.

As Tiger Woods sank his bogey putt on 18 to close out the Final Round, he secured the champion’s share of the prize pool: $2,070,000. His victory also meant that all wagers on Woods to win The Masters paid out. Woods was posted at +1400 odds in the days leading up to the tournament, and one bettor decided to put down a seriously significant wager.

William Hill accepted the wager – placed at the SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, according to ESPN – in the sum of $85,000 on the Tuesday prior to the start of The Masters. At +1400 odds, that resulted in a payout of $1,190,000 for the bettor. That $1.19 million prize is better than half of what Woods himself took home for his win, and is over $300,000 more than any other golfer earned on Sunday (the three golfers who tied for second place in the tournament each won $858,667)

The $1.19 million payout is the largest single-ticket golf payout in the history of William Hill’s U.S. operation.

Woods’ Win a Huge Hit for Sportsbooks

Nick Bogdanovich, the U.S. director of trading at William Hill, summed things up nicely by saying, “Pretty good first bet.”

Per ESPN, this is the fourth seven-figure payout William Hill has had to made since the book began operations in the United States. The other 3 each came on the Philadelphia Eagles to beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. The Eagles beat the Patriots 41-33 that day despite entering the game as heavy underdogs.

The renowned SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas reported 5-figure losses on Masters futures thanks to Woods’ victory. Jeff Sherman, the VP of risk at the SuperBook, told ESPN’s David Purdum that he cannot recall another Masters on which the book suffered a net loss.

Sherman said, “I thought he had a chance to be competitive, but I’m a little surprised by him winning, especially with the competition he faced. I said before the tournament that if you took the ‘Tiger Woods’ off, you’d have a golfer with the statistics of someone at 25-1 odds.”

Woods is now ranked as the sixth-best player in the world, but his lengthy dry spell at majors was due in large part to a rash of injuries that limited his ability to play. At one point, Woods was not certain he would ever be healthy enough to play competitive golf again, which adds to the shocking nature of his victory on Sunday.

Back in February, the SuperBook reportedly took a $10,000 bet on Woods to win at Augusta at 12-1. The bet will pay out $120,000.

BetOnline also took a hit, with the offshore provider telling ESPN that Woods’ win was the company’s biggest-ever loss on the futures market.

Caesars Entertainment actually reported a small net gain on Masters betting this year. Caesars took a bet of $20,000 on a “Will Tiger Woods win all four majors?” prop at -100,000. If Woods fails to win the U.S. Open, British Open or PGA Championship, the bettor will “collect” $20.

Tiger’s Comeback

Woods, who entered the final round 2 shots back of leader Francesco Molinari, finished the final round with a score of 70, 2 shots under par. Woods finished the tournament at 13-under par, one shot better than Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele, who each finished at -12.

Woods’ odds fluctuated quite a bit over the course of the tournament, though oddsmakers started to really take his chances seriously when he charged toward the top of the leaderboards on Saturday. He was as high as 15-1 during the final round and as low as 3-1 later in the day.

Woods was competitive in several tournaments last season, but at no point during any of last year’s majors did he look like a realistic bet to actually finish in first. Considering Woods’ recent injury history and the fact that he became the second-oldest player to ever win the Masters (43 years, 2 months, 29 days), the accomplishment is nothing short of spectacular. Jack Nicklaus, who won the event in 1986, is still the oldest to ever do so (46 years, 2 months, 23 days).

Will Tiger Win the PGA Championship?

He may be the favorite, but history is against Tiger when it comes to his chances of winning the PGA Championship in a month. Woods has won 15 majors all-time, but he has won the first 2 majors in a single season just once (2002), when he took home the green jacket at Augusta before a win at the U.S. Open shortly thereafter.

Of course, it’s also worth noting that the double in 2002 came at Augusta and Bethpage Black. Bethpage Black happens to be the site of the upcoming PGA Championship. Woods was the only golfer in the field to actually finish under par at the 2002 event, so his history at the course does seemingly give him an edge heading into the next major.

Woods is already listed as a betting favorite for May’s PGA Championship, the next Major on the schedule, with odds ranging from +750 (Xbet) to +1000 (William Hill). Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy (+950 apiece) own the next-best odds for next month’s second major. Johnson finished tied for second at Augusta with a score of 12-under par. McIlroy, who entered the Masters as the odds-on betting favorite, finished tied for 21st with a score of 5-under par.

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, but he’s willing to take one for the team on that front every now and then.

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