Tiger Woods hadn’t won a major since 2008. But several bettors figured he was due and jumped all over him to win the Masters.
One bettor walked into the William Hill sportsbook at SLS Las Vegas last Tuesday and laid down $85,000 on Woods to win at 14-1 odds. That’s a $1,190,000 payout, the largest I’ve ever seen or heard of in regards to odds to win golf wagering in Nevada.
“It’s great to see Tiger back. It’s a painful day for William Hill — our biggest golf loss ever — but a great day for golf,” said William Hill’s head bookmaker Nick Bogdanovich.
It certainly was a great day for golf and Woods, who won his 15th major overall, just three behind Jack Nicklaus for the most all-time. He’s back on the prowl.
While we can count William Hill as a certain loser for the day, the rest of Nevada’s sports books had mixed results despite Woods being the most popular wager just about everywhere.
“We did very well,” said Station Casinos sports book director Jason McCormick. “Francesco Molinari and Ricky Fowler were our two biggest risks down the stretch.”
Caesars Palace, CG Technology, and the South Point all reported a win after posting results for the Masters.
Woods finished 13-under-par, one stroke ahead of Brooks Kaepka, Xander Schauffelle and Dustin Johnson who tied for second place.
“It was the largest loss we’ve ever had in a major,” said Westgate SuperBook oddsmaker Jeff Sherman. “It was an upper five-figure loss. We had twice as much liability on Tiger than any other golfer.”
Sherman immediately made Woods the 8-1 favorite to win the PGA Championship, the next major which tees off May 16 at Bethpage Black Course on Long Island.
“I think we’re going to see some carryover into the next major and we should see a handle increase because of Tiger winning,” Sherman said. “People are excited right now, and people that don’t normally bet are going to want to have some action because of him.”
That’s exactly what’s going to happen. Woods has his mojo back and so do all his fans. They’re fired up and one the best ways to be a part of his winning is betting him at the sportsbook.
In the good old days when Woods was regularly 5-2 to win tournaments, he would always be the most bet golfer — both in actual cash and tickets written.
For the most part, his fans never gave up on him when at times being as high as 100-1 in his worst form trying to come back. They still fired away on him.
“I was happy for him. He’s been through a lot and made it all the way back,” Sherman said.
I was excited for him as well because he not only had to fight back from injury and personal problems but also the media who seemed to rejoice by systematically chopping down an icon with shame in print and television.
The media crushed his confidence and I still believe that the mental aspect of his image being harmed had more of an effect than injury or guilt of cheating on his wife.
He overcame it all. He fought hard. It’s a great story about one of the greatest sports figures in history.
As for the loss, Sherman took it all in stride and looked at the bright side.
“The way I see it is we’re way up with Woods with all those years of people betting on him when he wasn’t playing well.”
From a betting perspective, one of the most heartwarming things I’ve seen is that his fans never gave up on him. They always believed he would fight back and they were rewarded Sunday for their loyalty. Especially one dude getting a million bucks at the SLS.
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