Tiger Woods is back on the PGA Tour this week at the very event he played his last official tournament, the Farmers Insurance Open at San Diego’s Torrey Pines Golf Course.
While Tiger has lost plenty of fans over the last decade, the golf industry as a whole couldn’t be happier to see the 14-time major champion back inside the ropes. When Woods is in an event, television ratings surge, and that elevated interest relays to increased wagering at Las Vegas and online sportsbooks.
Though Tiger played in the Hero World Challenge in December where he finished ninth out of the small 18-man field, tomorrow marks his first official PGA Tour start since the Farmers a year ago. Despite the likely possibility of a bit of tournament rust, bettors aren’t shying away from taking the 42-year-old great.
Bovada currently has Woods at 20-1 to win the tournament, the sixth-shortest line of the 156-man field. That’s implied odds of 4.76 percent, and means the online sportsbook has taken numerous wagers on Tiger.
A $100 bet and a Woods victory returns the bettor a $2,000 profit.
Defending champion Jon Rahm, fresh off a victory last week and who would become the world’s top ranked golfer with a victory on Sunday, is the betting favorite at 7-1. Rickie Fowler is next at 10-1, followed by Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Rose (16-1), Jason Day (18-1), and then Tiger.
Prop Bets Galore
In Las Vegas, oddsmakers are looking to increase their golf handle by offering a smattering of Tiger Woods wagering opportunities.
At the Westgate SuperBook, which has Woods a bit longer to win the tournament at 25-1, the sportsbook is asking whether he’ll make the cut (Yes -190, No +160). That means bettors have faith Tiger will play the weekend. Tiger shot 78-72 at the 2017 Farmers Insurance Open to miss the cut by six shots.
A top 10 finish for Woods is at Yes +275, No -350. A top 20 finish is likelier, with that offering going for Yes +150, No -180.
For the sports bettor open to insurmountable risk, Bovada even asks whether Tiger Woods will record a hole in one. The odds are 80-1, with a $100 bet netting $8,000 if Tiger makes an ace.
It’s now been a decade since Woods won his last major, which came in 2008 at the US Open on the very course he returns to this week. Though he’s attempted previous comebacks in recent years after undergoing multiple back surgeries, some of his colleagues believe this time might be for real.
“He definitely looks ready,” Jason Day, the 14th-ranked golfer in the world, told reporters this week. “His swing is really nice. He’s hitting the driver a long way and he looks like he’s got some speed. And his touch is coming back.”
But longtime rival Sergio Garcia, who’s endured a combative relationship with Woods over the years, isn’t quite so convinced. “It’s going to be interesting to see. In my opinion, it’s a big question mark,” the 2017 Masters champ stated.