Tiger Woods is the new betting favorite to win the Masters

Tiger Woods hits out of a bunker onto the ninth green during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Tiger Woods has rapidly emerged as the favorite to win the Masters this year, thanks to an impressive run on the golf course.

Woods, who fell just shy of a tournament win at the recent Valspar Championship, had another strong performance Thursday in the opening round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, shooting a 68. He drained a 71-foot putt on the 8th hole to briefly take an early lead at Bay Hill. He finished the second round on Friday in a tie for 17th place at 4-under par.

During first-round play, Westgate SuperBook upgraded Woods to 8/1 odds for the 2018 Masters Tournament, according to oddsmaker Jeff Sherman. That puts Woods ahead of Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, who each have 9/1 odds of taking the green jacket.

Woods had 16/1 odds as recently as March 8. Last summer, he opened as a longshot to win the tournament, with odds of around 100/1.

Asked for his reaction to the Masters odds, Woods said, “There’s a lot of gamble-oholics out there,” Golf Digest’s Brian Wacker wrote.

Woods shook up the prospective leaderboard at Augusta National after turning heads at the Honda Classic and the Valspar Championship, where the four-time Masters champion tied for second and took home $572,000 in prize money. Sherman wrote on Twitter that public support for Woods has driven the move to 8/1. As of Saturday, Woods accounted for 7% of all money wagered with SuperBook, behind only Thomas, Jon Rahm and Johnson.