- Tiger Woods won his fifth green jacket at the Masters on Sunday, his first major win since 2008, and the 15th major win of his career.
- Woods is now favoured to win the PGA Championship in May, and also already the leading contender for the Masters in 2020 according to oddsmakers.
- While golf is a notoriously difficult sport to predict, history suggests that Woods would be a contender at both events.
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Fresh off his win at the Masters, Tiger Woods looked set to keep on rolling.
Woods won the Masters for the fifth time in his career on Sunday with the help of a spectacular final round, and served as a storybook ending to one of the greatest comeback stories in sports.
According to the oddsmakers in Las Vegas, Woods is the favourite to win the next major on the schedule, the PGA Championship in May. Woods had not won a major since 2008 before the weekend, but he’s now the 8/1 favourite to take the first two majors of the 2019 season, according to Jeff Sherman at SuperBookUSA.
Sherman also has Woods as the favourite to win at Augusta National next year in the 2020 Masters, once again listing him at 8/1 to win.
Making Woods the betting favourite at 43 years old might seem like a bold move, but there’s reason to think he does have a great shot to win again at the PGA Championship and repeat at Augusta National next year.
The PGA Championship will be held at Bethpage Black this year, a course that Woods has had success at in the past. When the course hosted the U.S. Open in 2002, Woods won, finishing four rounds as the only player in the field under par.
In 2009 the U.S. Open returned to Bethpage Black, and while Woods came up short of winning the tournament, he fought his way towards the top of the leaderboard to finish tied for sixth.
A lot has changed since those two events, but with Woods once again playing at an elite level, there’s a good chance he could bring his hot streak back to Bethpage Black and continue his winning ways.
With regard to the Masters, Woods is now the reigning champion, and has had more success at Augusta National than any golfer still playing, so while his odds may shift as the year goes on, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be the favourite at this point.
By making Woods the favourite, oddsmakers also help to cover their potential losses should he actually go on to win the tournaments.
At the Masters, one bettor won $US1.19 million with a gutsy $US85,000 bet on Woods to win placed just two days before the event began. Woods went on to win, and as the most popular bet in the field, forced a lot of sportsbooks to take a loss for the weekend.
The big bet on Woods was made at 14/1 odds, but with more people now excited about the potential of a Tiger bounce-back year, shifting his odds all the way down to the favourite can help sportsbooks to both keep their potential losses low, and encourage betting on other players with higher odds.
Woods winning both the PGA Championship and the 2020 Masters feels like a long shot, as golf is a notoriously difficult sport to predict, but between his sharp play on the courses hosting the events, and the liability his wins can put on oddsmakers, it makes sense that he’s listed as the early favourite.
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