Even after a long layoff, Tiger is the early heavy favorite at Augusta
How good will Tiger Woods when he comes back this year? Pretty good, if you believe the Las Vegas oddsmakers.
Out more than eight months following knee surgery last year, Woods’ odds of winning this year’s Master’s Tournament are listed at 2-1. The next closest is Phil Mickelson at 10-1. This, all, of course, before anyone has seen him play at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championships at the new The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz.
The 2009 Masters, which begins April 9, will be the first major for Woods since his dramatic 18-hole playoff win over Rocco Mediate last June on the South Course at Torrey Pines.
After Mickelson, by the way, the next closest is Padraig Harrington, who won two majors last year. He’s listed as 14-1, along with Sergio Garcia.
Former Masters champion Vijay Singh is 15-1 to win the Masters, while Ernie Els and Anthony Kim are 20-1.
The following players are all listed at 25-1 to win the 2009 Masters: Jim Furyk, Adam Scott, Camilo Villegas, Geoff Ogilvy, Henrik Stenson, K.J. Choi, Luke Donald, Mike Weir, Stuart Appelby and defending champion Trevor Immelman.
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Since Tiger has won more tournaments that anyone else in the Masters, and a far better win percentage than his opponents, he has been made the favorite by bookmakers.
Woods ALWAYS is he favorite in any event in which he plays.
But remember, he only wins about one in four of these events.
Two to one on Tiger in the Masters is the worst sucker bet a bettor could possibly make. That's why the book making shops and sites have it on the board.
Alex USMC 1969-73
Here is some information I got from a service buddy of mine who retired at the end of last year from a major Las Vegas strip casino. His final two years were as manager of the horse and sports book.
The betting line on golf tournaments at his casino was established by a house handicapper, usually in conjunction with several other casinos.
Past performance was a major consideration, but even more important in setting the line was the amount of the total win pool anticipated to be wagered on any particular golfer.
It wasn't at all uncommon for about 70% of the total wagered on winning the Masters to be bet on Woods. Much of this was bet by Tiger groupies who had little knowledge of the ins and outs of sports wagering.
This put the casino in the uncomfortable position of actually gambling with the house's money. The casino had to keep the odds on Tiger at 2 to 1, since to lower them would risk losing their gamblers to other houses. But by keeping the posted odds, they risked losing $40K for every $100K bet if Tiger did win.
After Woods' 2005 win, his casino decided to keep Tiger on the board no matter how much was bet on him. The rationale was that they had recouped much if not all of their previous Masters loss on more sports and horse bets, as well as those on table games and slots, due to the euphoria of those who had won on Tiger on Masters sunday. They viewed it as kind of a "loss leader."
Since then, they have had a large "keep", the amount retained, on the Masters since only Phil in 2006 put much of a dent in the win pool. Zach and Trevor were both at 25 to 1 with only a small amount put down on each.
Alex USMC 1969-73