Tiger Woods has spent two consecutive Sundays near the top of the leaderboard, and as a result, his odds to win the 2018 Masters have narrowed considerably.
After opening at 100 to 1 on most bookmaker boards last April – and closing to 15 to 1 by December when he briefly led the Hero World Challenge – Woods is now closing in on becoming the Masters betting favorite.
Per the most recent futures betting lines posted by online sportsbook Bovada, the four-time Masters champion is now listed at (+1000) to win his 15th career major. Only favorite Rory McIlroy (+800) – a four-time major winner who has never donned the Masters’ green jacket – and 2016 U.S. Open winner Dustin Johnson (+900) offer better odds at the moment.
Woods made a splash two weeks ago when he entered the final round of the Valspar Championship one off the lead. Playing in the final group is nothing new for the 79-time PGA Tour titleholder, but with Woods winless since 2013, the golf world watched for a long-awaited breakthrough. And while Woods eventually finished in a tie for second place at (-9), he carried the momentum with him to the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Competing at Bay Hill, a course where he’s won eight times before, Woods birdied the 10th, 12th, and 13th holes to start his back nine off in style. For the second straight Sunday, he lurked one stroke off the lead, but a late push fizzled to produce a T-5th finish.
McIlroy, meanwhile, solidified his spot atop the Masters betting board with a scintillating final round and a four-stroke victory.
Combined with a T-12th finish at the Honda Classic in late February, the clear signs that Woods may have finally sorted through his myriad physical issues – including multiple back surgeries – have prompted the linemakers at Bovada to move the legend up their board.
Speaking with CBS Sports after the Invitational, Woods was asked about the upcoming Masters, which begins April 5 at Augusta National:
“I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t really thought that much about it, especially this week. I’ve been grinding and focusing on this week, trying to win this thing.
Now the tournament’s over, I’ll start to make some changes for Augusta, what kind of equipment setup I’m going to go with, some things I want to do with my swing.”
Woods also commented on the current conditions at Augusta National, a course where he once announced himself to the golf world with a 12-stroke demolition as a 21-year old phenom. As he told CBS Sports, Woods isn’t counting on his four prior wins at the Masters, especially playing at Augusta for the first time since 2015:
“I need to go take a look at it. I haven’t putted on bent grass in two years. So this is going to be new to me. Playing on rye like that, overseeded rye, different spins that we’re going to encounter there.
I was talking with [caddie Joey LaCava] about that early in the week. I’ll figure out what wedge system I want to use for that week, what bounce system, get used to those bunkers, sand’s very heavy, thick.
So just have to do a little bit of work.”
Bettors also have work to do ahead of the 82nd annual Masters, so take a look below for the top-25 contenders as currently listed on Bovada:
Odds to Win 2018 Masters
|Golfer||Odds to Win Masters on 3/19|