A Lot of People Bet Real Money that Tiger Woods Would Win the Masters
The last time Tiger Woods was any good at golf was 2013. That year he was the PGA Tour’s leading money winner, the PGA Tour Player of the Year, and the world’s #1 ranked golfer. Since then it’s been all down hill.
Tiger had back surgeries in 2014 and 2015 and missed the entire 2015-16 PGA season. He returned to action last fall and showed a few slight hints that maybe he would be good at golf again. But in February he withdrew from the Dubai Dessert Classic citing back spasms, and in March he withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Classic for the same reason.
In short, Tiger Woods was never going to be a contender at the 2017 Masters. And yet, for some reason, a lot of people bet on him anyway.
According to ESPN’s David Purdam, over 100 bets have been placed on Tiger to win the Masters since Westgate SuperBook first started offering futures bets on the prestigious golf tournament last August. Out of the 108 golfers for whom the sportsbook offered odds, Tiger attracted the 19th-most bets. And not just small, throwaway bets, either.
“We took a $1,000 wager on him at 50-1, after he showed some signs of life in the tournament in December down in the Bahamas,” SuperBook assistant manager Jeff Sherman told ESPN. “Prior to him withdrawing, he was our largest liability on the [Masters] betting board. He was top five in ticket count at the time too.”
So what gives? Why do so many people still bet on Tiger Woods?
Sherman doesn’t think people are delusional. He thinks they’re just looking to get lucky.
“No matter how poor his form is, this is a guy who’s won 14 majors,” Sherman explains. “So people still want to back him, hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. They just disregard what he’s done the last few years and they’ll support him. People always like to bet a little to win a lot; and to be able to do that on a name like Tiger Woods, they’re always going to do that.”
Of course, all those bets are dead now. Tiger officially withdrew from the Masters last Friday, saying he simply was not prepared to compete at an elite level after missing so much time.
The good news for people who placed bets at Westgate? Unlike most sportsbooks, they require a golfer to actually tee off for a pre-tournament bet to be official. So anyone who placed a bet on Tiger with them is eligible for a refund.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]