How good is it to have Tiger Woods back? Unless you’re one of his competitors obviously – what he did to Sean O’Hair at Bay Hill yesterday has got to leave a very big impression on a relatively young golfer. Although O’Hair is the owner of two tour titles he was unable to hold his nerve yesterday, squandering a five shot lead over the rampaging man in red.
Finding Form With The Flatstick
It wasn’t completely his fault…Tiger’s Scotty Cameron putter had a lot to say as well, draining putts down the stretch that would drive a heart through the toughest of men. He sank a 26ft birdie putt at 15 to draw level with the 26 year old, before sinking a 16ft birdie putt in failing light on the 18th to claim his 66th career title.
Up until yesterday Woods had looked steady in his return from a potentially career threatening knee injury without looking close to his dominating best. But as is his style, a little drama was all it took to bring out the competitive animal in the world’s greatest golfer.
Tiger Hits His Straps At Best Possible Time
And what a time to find that sort of form, a week out from The Masters. Bay Hill is one of Tiger’s favourite playgrounds having won there on five previous occasions. He could not have asked for a better event to play at leading in to the first of the years majors.
It’s funny, I was just looking at the odds for The Masters yesterday after players had finished their third rounds and it looked like Tiger might struggle to be in contention on the final day. I noticed Woods was at about $3.50 to win at Augusta the following week, with Mickelson his closest rival just under the $10 mark. My immediate thought was that those were ridiculous odds even for Tiger. He’d not really shown enough to warrant such a price.
Hold on a second while I remove my foot…there that’s better. The bookies (as is often the case) had it about right.
Although I do think that when it comes to Tiger they are so scared of being burned they immediately offer the lowest possible price they can get away with. With his victory over the weekend they have all the justification they need to offer such a low price.
So can you even consider betting against Tiger to win this week at Augusta?
Of course you can, but as always when you bet against him, you are taking a risk. On the other hand you aren’t really getting value for your money if you do place a wager on him.
What to do, what to do…
Well one thing you can do is look for bookies that offer a market on who will win with Tiger taken out of the field. I had a quick look tonight and couldn’t see anyone offering it just yet, but once the bookies have their markets framed a little later in the week it may be worth checking out.
It’s amazing to think that in the sport of golf, traditionally considered one of the toughest to dominate week in week out, a man who has just come back from surgery is priced so low in the markets that it makes it almost impossible to bet on him. And yet he is so good that punters who have been burned in the past are scared to back against him.
This then forces bookies to offer manufactured markets based on him not being considered to encourage punters to bet, something that is usually only seen in team sports such as the English Premier League where the big 4 are often taken out to create a separate market.
What About The Aussies
Geoff Ogilvy can’t be in much better form, if I’m going to risk some money against Tiger, I might as well do it on an Aussie. Adam Scott is struggling, Allenby hasn’t won in the U.S since 2001 and no other Aussies really impress.
Apart from the betting, all eyes will be on The Shark, as he takes another stroll around one of the world’s great courses. It will be good to see him in action and all the fans will be hoping he can show at least some of the form we saw at Royal Birkdale last year.