Seeing The Woods Through The Trees: Tiger Is Back, And Oddsmakers Agree

Written By Grant Lucas on September 25, 2018
Tiger Woods

The 18th green and the area around it at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta may now sit several feet lower than it did Sunday morning thanks to Tiger Woods. Ironically, after causing the uproarious celebration that Atlanta hasn’t seen since the Falcons took a 25-point lead in Super Bowl LI (too soon?), Woods watched his odds soar to win next year’s Masters.

And fitting how, just after securing his 80th career PGA win in his trademark red polo and black slacks, Woods has seemingly made his return as the man to beat. Not just on the golf course but also in the sports betting world. Tiger’s furious finale over the weekend resulted in a number of Tiger-centric futures hitting the sportsbooks. And for once, we don’t have to see the headline, cringe and wonder, “Who cares?”

And that’s what life is all about, right?

Welcome Back, Kotter Tiger

Few expected Tiger Woods to win again after… well… you know…

And then…

Not even John Daly, the long-ball-hitting, tee-off-a-beer-can-swinging and every-man’s favorite golfer whose notoriety for going hard resulted in a cocktail bearing his name, received as much scrutiny.

Yet Woods somehow did the improbable: located the nearest shovel, digging himself out of the hole and scooping up Lindsey Vonn (a gentleman’s tip of the cap, sir). He appeared in nearly just as many tournaments in2018 (18) than the past four years combined (19). He nearly tripled the number of made cuts (16) this past year than between 2014 and 2017 (6) while appearing in all four majors for the first time since 2015.

In Atlanta this Sunday, Woods booked his first PGA win since 2013 and his first Tour Championship victory in 11 years. Watching his post-round interview provided chills, a nostalgic “TI-GER! TI-GER! TI-GER!” chant breaking out from the gallery.

If futures odds are any indication, it won’t be the last time a reception such as that will occur on the 18th green.

Masters and Commander

Per the Westgate SuperBook, Woods is the odds-on favorite to win The Masters. Shake it off. Not a typo. Tiger. Woods. Is. The. Favorite.

Shortly after he sealed the Tour Championship win (and second place in the FedEx Cup standings for a cool $3 million on top of the $1.67 million for winning the tourney), Woods jumped to the top of the 2019 Masters odds list.

Heading into the weekend, Woods was tabbed as a 12/1 favorite to win the coveted green jacket (gold jacket?) next year. Now, Tiger has the target on his back as he seeks his 15th major victory, including his first since 2008 and first at Augusta since 2005.

Other odds emerge

Cue Billy Mays: “But wait… There’s more!”

Remember that Tiger vs. Phil Mickelson head-to-head event? The one thing no Thanksgiving can do without? Westgate lists Woods at -220 to win the match-play event over Lefty, who is tabbed at +180 to win.

“But wait… There’s more!”

Westgate apparently also offers futures on Tiger’s performances at the majors next year. Not so much, “Will he win?” Rather, “How many will he win?”

Thus concludes Tiger Watch — OH BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!

Apparently “futures” is not limited to just 2019. So make that bet and keep it in a safe place for seven years.

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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sports writer who has covered the high school, collegiate and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield and Oregon State athletics, the Portland Trail Blazers and golf.

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