Betting Tiger Woods: PGA Championship To Offer Stiff Test

Woods won the PGA here in 2007


May 18, 2022

Tiger Woods is teeing it up at this week’s PGA Championship which means Tiger Woods believes he can win this week’s PGA Championship.

Similar to Tom Brady’s declaration that he’ll retire when he sucks, Woods doesn’t play unless he truly believes he has a chance to win. Is that somewhat delusional from time to time? Perhaps. But even when he’s compromised, betting against the legend feels like a risky proposition.

That Woods even returned in time for the Masters was impressive. That he made the cut was downright remarkable. He faded over the weekend as he battled through the pain of a still recently mangled leg from his 2021 car crash. But it was the latest reminder that he’s still a competitive SOB.

Which brings us to the PGA Championship. Woods is returning to Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., where he won this tournament in 2007. A recent restoration will make this test slightly different, but he should feel comfortable on the grounds and he knows it’s a course he can tame.

Whether he does that, however, is a completely different story. Woods returning to Augusta National was different; he knows that place like the back of his hand. This week will be a stiffer test in that regard, especially if he’s not 100%.

Here’s a look at a few betting options for Woods this week from the menu at DraftKings Sportsbook.

To make the cut: -130 | To miss the cut +100
Woods making the cut at the Masters was one of our best bets last month. It’s going to be a little more difficult to get to the weekend at Southern Hills. For starters, the institutional knowledge isn’t as strong, and we can’t know how healthy he is. More importantly, perhaps, is the math of the thing. At the Masters, top 50 and ties made the cut with 91 players in the field. Top 70 and ties will make the cut this weekend, but that’s out of 156 players. Granted, a chunk of those are club pros from around the country who aren’t likely to contend, but it’s still longer odds. Woods was -115 to make the cut at Augusta and actually has better odds this week, though it probably should have been the other way around.

To win: +6500
You’re almost never going to get value when you bet Woods to win. Casual bettors line up to take him, no matter the number. BetMGM said earlier this week a Woods win would be the biggest loss in the history of their sportsbook. Is there a path to winning for Woods? Yeah, sure. According to on-site reports, Woods is swinging it well and getting pretty good distance, which is key to contention this week. It figures to be a second-shot golf course, though, and few if any players have been better with an iron in their hands at any point in the sport than Woods. Small, undulating greens put an emphasis on short game, which is where Woods can thrive; his hands and creativity go a long way in maybe equalizing some of the other advantages younger players have.

Places like Augusta and Rivieria are notable comp courses. We know what he has done at Augusta, and he hosts his annual tournament at Riv where he made his Tour debut at 16. All of that being said: Do you really think he’s going to win this tournament? It’s far more likely he misses the cut than wins given his physical condition not to mention a loaded field that probably features more top-to-bottom depth than Woods ever really saw during his prime. Phil Mickelson was as long as 300-1 before winning last year, which seems like a far more realistic neighborhood than Woods’ 65-1 this week.

Round 1 three ball: Woods (+350) vs. Rory McIlroy (+125) vs. Jordan Spieth (+135)
What a fantastic grouping that will go off early Thursday morning. Woods, though, could be a worthwhile three-ball or head-to-head play, especially if the forecast holds. There are going to be some pretty gnarly winds in Tulsa, which could favor Woods. Obviously, he could be in trouble if he’s trying to step on one into the wind, especially in a three-ball against someone with the length of McIlroy. But the weather could also neutralize other players and put an emphasis on that creative shotmaking in which Woods specializes. Additionally, Woods has been no stranger about his preference to play in warm weather. It was a relatively cold week at the Masters. It should be the opposite this week with temperatures in the 70s when Woods tees of Thursday. It will be downright hot when he tees of Friday afternoon, so a Round 2 matchup could also be worth monitoring — especially if Woods feels likes he’ll have to go low to make the cut.

Thumbnail photo via Michael Madrid/USA TODAY Sports Images

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