Tiger Woods’ absence from the Masters Tournament will decrease the amount of betting on the tourney.
The most anticipated golf competition in the USA, the Masters Tournament is scheduled to take place from April 10 to April 13 at Augusta National Golf Club. The tourney has already generated lots of media buzz, with the biggest news being Tiger Wood’s absence from the event.
The world’s number 1 golfer, and the winner of 14 major titles, was forced to withdrew his name from the competition due to a nerve surgery in his back. It will be the first time in 20 years, that Tiger Woods, who has already won here 5 times, will miss the first major of the year.
Wood’s absence impacts betting industry
While it’s certainly a blow for his fans and golf enthusiasts in general, it’s also a huge blow for the land-based and online sportsbooks in the USA. Industry experts expect as much as 20 percent decline in the total amount of wagering on the tournament due to Wood’s exit.
The Masters is the most popular golf tourney of the year at all 183 sports betting outlets in Nevada. Here’s what the assistant manager at the Las Vegas Hotel’s SuperBook, Jeff Sherman, had to say: “It’s basically double the next one, which is the U.S. Open. It’s like when people get out and bet the Kentucky Derby or the Daytona 500; it’s the one golf event the casual fan will end up getting involved with.”
Jeff Sherman was also quoted in American gambling news saying: “There’s so many people that say, ‘I just want to root for Tiger,’ and now they’re not going to get the opportunity. Those people don’t turn their attention elsewhere.”
Tiger Woods said he will have to miss not only this tournament, but a couple more with a view to get healthier and resume playing in the summer. Only three weeks ago Woods was by far the favorite win the Masters with a line of 6/1 at major sportsbooks operating under American gambling laws. But spasms in his back have already caused the world’s number 1 to miss the Arnold Palmer Invitational two weeks ago. At this point his odds went down to 10/1 making him equal favorite to win the Masters alongside Adam Scott, the defending champion, and Rory McIlroy.
The reasons for betting decline in the absence of Woods
Jeff Sherman has also opined the following: “The back issues he’s been dealing with this year had shed some people away. Over the last few weeks, there’s been a lot less interest and I bumped his odds up to 10-1 prior to his withdrawal trying to attract more money because it hadn’t shown up like it has in the past.”
Tiger Woods exits the Masters Tournament causing golf betting to drop in the USA
• Woods will miss the Masters due to surgery
• Online sportsbooks in USA already experience a decline in betting on the event
• Woods’ career shouldn’t be affected by the planned surgery
When Wood is actually playing, TV ratings are through the roof, a phenomenon which could be observed throughout his career. When he didn’t play for eight months in 2009 due to knee surgery, TV ratings for the US PGA Tour events dropped 30-40 percent.
Masters’ ratings have always remained high when he was participating, even if Woods wasn’t on the Sunday leaderboard. The past five years saw 14 million TV viewers enjoy the final-round of the tourney. The first time Tiger Woods won the Masters, back in 1997, the final-round of the Masters had over 20 million viewers.
TV ratings have a direct effect on the betting patterns and numbers. Sherman also said: “The casual fan might not be tuning in when they hear he’s out. When the TV ratings go down a little bit, our betting handle goes down.”
Who are the favorites now?
Well, Tiger Woods is out, but someone must win the tournament. Currently, it’s McIlroy, the genius from Northern Ireland. His success is valued at 8/1, closely followed by last year’s champion Scott and his countryman Jason Day both at 10/1 odds. Other names to look out for are Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth.
What’s in store for Tiger Woods?
According to the world’s number 1 himself, there will be no long-term effects from the planned surgery, and his career shouldn’t be at risk. Tiger still need four major titles to match the record 18 set by Jack Nicklaus. He’s also 9 wins shy from reaching 82 PGA Tour trophies collected by Sam Snead.
Wood’s statement reads: “It’s tough right now, but I’m absolutely optimistic about the future. There are a couple records by two outstanding individuals and players that I hope one day to break. As I’ve said many times, Sam and Jack reached their milestones over an entire career. I plan to have a lot of years left in mine.”
Despite winning his last major in 2008, Tiger Woods is still considered to be on good form with experts agreeing he’s got lots of competitive years ahead of him.