The Masters produced more magical moments this year thanks to Tiger Woods capturing his fifth green jacket. But Woods wasn’t the only big winner on Masters Sunday.
Sportsbooks take seven-figure losses on Woods
Wagers were coming in early and often on Woods prior to the tournament, and then throughout the four-day tournament. Odds for a Woods win were sitting at around +1400 (14-1) at most US operators, including DraftKings Sportsbook. Both FanDuel Sportsbook and BetStars in New Jersey both had 100-1 longshot promos that would ultimately prove costly for both books.
BetStars reported taking an approximately $360,000 net loss on its Masters futures market, the largest in the company’s brief history offering sports betting in the U.S.
But the Tiger Effect really hit hard at FanDuel.
- First, the fantasy sports giant refunded all fantasy golf customer who entered the $1 Million Mega Eagle daily fantasy contest for The Masters. FanDuel’s promotion offered a full refund if Tiger Woods won, regardless of whether Woods was in a person’s fantasy golf lineup or not. The $1 Million Mega Eagle contest was FanDuel’s biggest fantasy golf contest ever and more than $1 million in promotional entry fees was refunded.
- Second, FanDuel Sportsbook suffered a loss of more than $1 million in winning prize payouts when Woods won. Only 10% of all bets to win the Masters outright were on Tiger at the start of the week, but as Woods made his move into the weekend and on Sunday, FanDuel Sportsbook had nearly 21% of bets and more than $1 million in liability on Tiger to triumph.
“The Tiger effect is real,” said Mike Raffesnperger, CMO for FanDuel Group. “Tiger’s historic win today has cemented him as one of the most iconic figures in sports and we congratulate him on his tremendous achievement. We’re even happier for our customers who today have over three million reasons to believe there are more ways to win on FanDuel!”
A similar fate for DraftKings
As the weekend arrived for Saturday’s third round, Woods was six-under-par and one shot off the lead shared by five players, including eventual runner-up Brooks Koepka and solo third-round leader Francesco Molinari. Yet DraftKings Sportsbook raised the odds on Woods from 3-1 to 10-1 to win the Masters Saturday. DraftKings head of digital Sportsbook operations Jamie Shea said Tiger had 27% of the company’s win wagers prior to the tournament, and Woods made up 60% of the Masters bets the rest of the weekend.
Early in Sunday’s final round with Woods starting the day two shots behind Molinari, Woods was even offered at 15-1. Shea reported that 32 percent of live bets the sportsbook took in were on Tiger.
A million-dollar ticket in Vegas
On Tuesday, a bettor at William Hill in Nevada placed an $85,000 bet on Woods to win at 14-1 odds. He collected $1.19 million on the largest single golf ticket in the company’s history in the States. It was also the bettor’s first-ever bet placed at William Hill.
“Pretty good first bet,” William Hill U.S. director of trading Nick Bogdanovich told ESPN.
“It’s great to see Tiger back,” Bogdanovich added in a release. “It’s a painful day for William Hill – our biggest loss ever – but a great day for golf.”
Indeed, as Woods’ win drew record ratings and wagering. The Masters win was Woods’ first at Augusta since 2005 — the longest time ever between Masters victories for a player. It was also Tiger’s first major title since the 2008 U.S. Open and 15th overall – now three major wins behind Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18.
The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas reported a high-five-figure net loss on Masters futures. Vice President of risk and golf odds specialist Jeff Sherman said he couldn’t recall the last time the SuperBook suffered a net loss on the Masters winner and Woods’ win likely produced the SuperBook’s largest loss on a golf event.
In February, the SuperBook took a $10,000 bet on Woods at 12-1, which paid $120,000.
“I thought he had a chance to be competitive,” Sherman told ESPN, “but I’m a little surprised by him winning, especially with the competition he faced.”
Sherman and the Westgate listed Woods as the favorite to win the 2020 Masters tournament on Sunday afternoon.