The Loop

How Tiger Woods cost gamblers a LOT of money at the PGA Championship

August 09, 2014

A day after Tiger Woods limped his way to a missed cut at the PGA Championship, it seems silly that anyone would have bet on the 14-time major winner at Valhalla. But a lot of people are feeling silly today for doing just that.

According to Jeff Sherman, an LVH Superbook assistant manager and golf handicapper, Woods, despite his recent injuries and bad play, had the biggest backing of anyone -- and it wasn't even close. The LVH sports book took in three times as much money in Woods wagers than on the next most backed player, Phil Mickelson.


Why? Yes, because it's Tiger Woods, but also because of how the betting line on Woods shifted.

Before Bridgestone, Woods was list at 15/1 at LVH, but was bet down to 10/1. As he struggled in Akron, Sherman raised him to 12/1 and then all the way up to 40/1 with his WD. That move induced a final flurry of betting on Woods and he went off at 30/1. Sherman declined to comment on just how much money his book took in on Tiger, but he said it was slightly more than usual and that he wasn't surprised.

"We always find a number that we get a lot of support for him in majors no matter his form or circumstances," Sherman said.

Not getting suckered into betting on Woods based on his name and unusually high odds would have been the simplest way to avoid losing money, but gamblers had another out.

Had Woods not showed up at Valhalla on Wednesday and pulled out before his Thursday tee time, all bets on him would have been refunded. In other words, Tiger's toughness this week may have won over some fans, but it wound up losing a lot of money for his backers.