The Loop

Tiger Woods has the same Masters odds as the 11th-ranked player in the world. Really

March 01, 2017
Tiger Woods


The gambling public is either extremely devout or delusional. Maybe both.

How else do you explain Tiger Woods -- he of three competitive rounds in 18 months and spasms so brutal he couldn't attend a press conference -- maintaining 100/1 odds for the 2017 Masters? Sure, that's a precipitous drop from December, when a promising showing from the 41-year-old at the Hero World Challenge spurred a 20/1 listing. Conversely, Woods' back was in such dire straights two weeks ago that his doctors encouraged him to "remain horizontal." Call me old fashioned, but before I place a wager, I'd like to ascertain if the competitor in question can, you know, walk.

If you need further evidence of this farce, Woods has the same odds as Alex Noren, who has won four times in his last 15 events (with a runner-up thrown in for good measure). Noren enters the WGC-Mexico Championship as the 11th-ranked player in the world. That's slightly higher than Woods, who's fallen to No. 711.

Also at 100/1: Lee Westwood, who finished T-2 at the 2016 Masters; Ryder Cuppers Ryan Moore, J.B. Holmes, Rafael Cabrera Bello; Russell Knox, who won twice last season; Emiliano Grillo, the reigning Rookie of the Year.

This is not a knock on Woods; four green jackets merits a certain level of respect. Moreover, it's not like Vegas is declaring Tiger a formidable challenger at Augusta National this spring. The odds are merely a reflection of mediating the action from the public.

And if these numbers are indicative of the early movement, golf gamblers have lost their damn minds.