Is it Woods or fairways?

April 08, 2008 7:00 PM
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On The Mark by Mark Mayer | Have you ever seen odds of 20-21 on a golfer? Not unless it’s Tiger Woods.

 
Scott
Oglivy
Chol
Sienson
Barddeley
Boo
Palms:
25-1
50-1
28-1
40-1
60-1
100-1
Caesars:
18-1
25-1
10-1
28-1
35-1
75-1
Hilton:
25-1
25-1
35-1
60-1
60-1
150-1

That’s the figure for Tiger winning the Masters if you wager at the Palms. The Hilton had Woods at 6-5, while at Caesars Palace it was a lofty EVEN.

How sure are the Vegas books that Tiger is going to win? Well, only at Caesars will you find any golfer in single digits on the oddsboard – Phil Mickelson at 6-1.

And, of course, there are the props. This is the first real week that the "How Many Majors will Tiger Win?" question comes into play. Not to mention the ever-growing "Tiger against the Field" choice whenever the world’s No. 1 decides to tee it up.

We can spend pages waxing eloquent on Tiger’s achievements. Suffice to say his career winning percentage is well over 25 (1 in 4). Everyone else is below 10 percent. Many are under 1. Some never win at all. The weekly odds on Woods to win golf tournaments are simply off the charts. Usually a favorite opens around 6 or 7-1.

There isn’t a book in the civilized world that would ever list Tiger at that price.

So should we just give him another green jacket and bow down to his eminence? Not yet.

There are some players in the field with a pretty good chance. Mickelson as No. 2 in the world certainly deserves major billing as does Vijay Singh and Ernie Els. Tiger decided not to play the Shell Houston Open as is his pattern for skipping the previous event to the Masters. Instead, he got in an early practice round Sunday at Augusta.

Shrewd planning or a bad idea skipping Houston? We’ll see.

In any event, here is a Pick 6 entry for this year’s Masters with odds all across the board.

Adam Scott: The former UNLV player is capable of firing 63 or less at Augusta National. Scott has been playing well this season and is one golfer not intimidated of Woods.

Geoff Ogilvy: He won the one PGA Tour event (Doral) that Tiger didn’t this year. Ogilvy has already won a major and has the game to hang around the top all four rounds.

KJ Choi: Korea’s best male golfing import won the Sony Open this season and has steadily played better on the American courses. He’s tough and a solid putter.

Henrik Stenson: The Swede is starting to play more Tour events, but has made a huge impression as a stellar match play golfer. He won’t mind at all being paired with Tiger in the last group Sunday.

Aaron Baddeley: Billed as the Australian version of Tiger Woods, Bads played an epic match against Woods in the WGC Match Play. He figures to win a major soon.

Boo Weekley: Everybody loves a longshot. Boo has Dixie running in his veins and would be beloved in Georgia if his coming out party came at the Masters. At 100-1, why not?