Bettors are wagering more money that Tiger Woods will win the Masters after he fell just short of his first PGA win since 2013.
Woods took home his biggest payday on the golf course in years Sunday, winning $572,000 for finishing in a second-place tie with Patrick Reed at the Valspar Championship. Woods and Reed closed the tournament at 9-under par, one shot behind the winner, Paul Casey, who earned $1.17 million of the tournament’s $6.5 million total purse.
The chances that Woods wins the 2018 Masters Tournament next month are now 10/1, according to Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. Woods had 16/1 odds as recently as March 8. Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas lead the pack with 8/1 odds of taking the green jacket.
Woods, a four-time Masters champion, attracted 7% of all money wagered at the Westgate as of Saturday, according to SuperBook golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman. Only Thomas, Jon Rahm and Johnson represented a larger share of wagers. When the SuperBook offered 12/1 odds on Woods, one person placed a $4,000 bet on the four-time Masters champion, according to Forbes. That bet would result in a $48,000 payoff if Woods tops the leaderboard at Augusta National.
The SuperBook also made Woods the favorite at 6/1 odds to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational this weekend. Jason Day has 12/1 odds.
The Valspar Championship was more evidence of Woods’s impact on golf. Not only did his success shake up the prospective Masters leaderboard, but fans rushed to watch Woods fight for the lead over the weekend. In fact, NBC’s coverage of the final round Sunday was the highest-rated PGA Tour broadcast of a non-major tournament since 2013, according to the network.
Woods appears to be returning to form after four back surgeries threatened to derail his golf career. Despite ending his 2017 season early to undergo surgery, Woods ranked as the 17th highest-paid athlete in the world last year. Nearly all of his $37.1 million in earnings came from lucrative endorsement deals, including sponsorships from Nike and TaylorMade, Forbes estimated.