Tiger Woods Announces Return to Competitive Golf, Oddsmakers Rejoice
Posted on: October 31, 2017, 12:00h.
Last updated on: October 31, 2017, 10:10h.
Tiger Woods is ready to once again walk inside the ropes and play competitive golf.
The former number one golfer who has spent a record 683 weeks in the top spot during his career says he will be one of 18 players teeing it up next month at the Hero World Challenge in Albany, Bahamas. The charity event benefits, among other organizations, the Tiger Woods Foundation. The first round begins November 30.
He announced the news via Twitter with a message that read, “I’d like to thank the committee of 1 for picking myself.” Woods hasn’t hit a tournament shot since the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic in February.
In a statement posted to his website, Woods thanked his fans for their “unwavering support” during his injury.
For sportsbooks, the news is much welcomed. Anytime Woods plays an event, wagering activity is higher, especially for a non-major and non-PGA Tour event such as the Hero World Challenge.
Westgate SuperBook golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said last year that golf betting is “driven by the amount of TV coverage and exposure and that translates into a better wagering handle for us.”
He’s the only player that could be ranked No. 1,171 in the world and still receive a full betting specials page. But that’s precisely what online sportsbooks are doing in order to take in as many Tiger Woods bets as possible for his potentially short-lived return.
As to win outright, Sky Bet has Woods at the longest odds of the 18-player field at 50-1. The shortest is Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, both at 6-1, followed by Dustin Johnson (7-1), Rickie Fowler (10-1), and last week’s WGC-HSBC Champions winner Justin Rose (11-1).
Oddsmakers believe Woods has a much more probable chance of withdrawing (7-2) than winning. A top 10 finish is at 11-4, a top five 7-1. To go bogey-free in the opening round is long at 16-1.
Woods played in the 2016 Hero World Challenge, finishing 15th with rounds of 73-65-70-76. His $107,000 check was the only money he collected from competitive golf that year.
Despite not having won a PGA Tour event since 2013, and his last major coming back in 2008, Woods’ odds on claiming his 15th major in 2018 and taking him one step closer to Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 aren’t exactly long.
Sky Bet has Woods at 25-1 to win at least one of the four 2018 majors. That means bettors are somewhat optimistic on a successful return, as those odds are the same as Charley Hoffman, who is currently ranked 24th in the world. 25-1 is also the 2018 major odds for Martin Kaymer, a two-time major winner who made the cut in all four majors in 2017.
Tiger’s short major line shows the betting bias among golf wagering fans, as the chance to get a player with Woods’ resume is too good to pass up.
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