Tiger Woods picked up his fifth green jacket on Sunday with a final round 70 to wake up the echoes at Augusta National. Woods winning another major was once thought to be a near impossibility as he suffered through setback after setback with his back injury.
Belief began to pick up a year ago, as he returned with a fused back and began to look a bit more like the Tiger of old, contending in big tournaments and, ultimately, winning the Tour Championship. Suddenly, Woods was no longer a long shot and found himself back near the top of the odds sheet for this year’s Masters at 14-1.
Woods winning was a massive liability for sportsbooks in Vegas and offshore, as multiple books were on the hook for more than a seven figure loss if Tiger donned the green jacket again. No book faced a bigger single bet liability than William Hill, which took a $85,000 bet on Woods at 14-1 at their book at SLS in Las Vegas, and on Sunday their worst nightmare came true.
It was the largest payout in the book’s history on a future, as they were forced to pay $1.19 million — not all that much less than Tiger’s purse for actually winning the Masters — to the very fortunate Tiger fan. As of mid-afternoon on Sunday in Las Vegas, the bettor in question hadn’t returned to claim his winnings, which shouldn’t be a massive surprise as they likely didn’t want to deal with the lines at the window since they’ll be filling out some paperwork to receive such massive winnings.
No one will feel sorry for the books, given that they clean up on futures in most every other situation, but it is a reminder that when the massive favorite for the public wins, that’s when the books lose. This time it paid off and as such they’ve adjusted accordingly. Woods is now the 8-1 favorite for the PGA Championship next month and the 2020 Masters as Westgate opened odds for both on Sunday afternoon.