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Tiger Woods bets that make sense at PGA Championship

6 Min Read

Golfbet News


    Written by Ben Everill @BEverillGolfbet

    LOUISVILLE, KY. – It’s been 24 years since Tiger Woods had an epic battle with Bob May at the 2000 PGA Championship at Valhalla, the site he returns to take on the best of the best in search of another Wanamaker Trophy.

    The four-time PGA Championship winner (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007) hasn’t played since the Masters where he kept his incredible cut streak alive for a 24th straight year before ultimately fading to finish last of those making the weekend.

    While most in the world of sport would love nothing more than to see Woods contend, the reality is Valhalla is a beast of a course not really suited to his now-ailing body. Hence, he’s a +20000 longshot to win according to BetMGM Sportsbook.

    “My body's okay," Woods said from Valhalla. "It is what it is. I wish my game was a little bit sharper. Again, I don't have a lot of competitive reps, so I am having to rely on my practice sessions and getting stuff done either at home or here on-site.

    “But at the end of the day, I need to be ready mentally and physically come Thursday, and these days of practicing, eating on the golf course, that's one of the reasons I came up here on Sunday was to knock off some of the work that I have to do in charting greens, get all that stuff done early, so I can focus on literally playing and plotting my way around.”

    What's in Tiger Woods' golf bag?

    Given Woods’ popularity, there are still a plethora of betting options available on the 15-time major champion. But which are realistic – and which are in the realms of fantasy? Let’s take a look and find the hidden gems.

    At BetMGM, to go with his +20000 outright price, oddsmakers have Woods at +2800 for a Top 5, +1400 for a Top 10, +600 for a Top 20 and +200 for a Top 40.

    Woods has four wins, nine career top-10s, 10 career Top-20s and 17 Top-40s from his 22 starts at the PGA Championship. Despite those stellar numbers, I would not be advocating any of these bets. Even if Woods is able to make the cut, he has to maintain his efforts through four rounds. A tough ask, even he admits. He last made a PGA cut in 2022 at Southern Hills but withdrew over the weekend when his surgically repaired ankle flared up in cold and rainy conditions.

    “I can still hit shots," Woods said. "It's getting around is more of the difficulty that I face day-to-day and the recovery of pushing myself either in practice or in competition days. You saw it at Augusta. I was there after two days and didn't do very well on the weekend."

    Speaking of the cut, Woods is +140 to make the weekend, something he has done 18 times in 22 starts at the PGA Championship. He sits -190 to miss it. I’m loathed to admit it, but my feeling is this time, we won’t see Woods for the final two rounds.

    Other tournament-long bets out there that I have no interest in pushing a serious bettor towards include FanDuel’s +950 to be bogey-free in any round or Woods at +10000 to make a hole-in-one and +20000 to have an albatross.

    After getting stung at the Masters to the tune of +17500 for Woods to improve his 2023 Augusta National performance by exactly one shot each day, FanDuel traders have slashed the numbers for similar bets this time around.

    For Tiger to repeat his 2014 Valhalla start of 74-74 is +6600 while the Improver option of him shooting exactly 73-73 is +5000. Neither now become worth considering. Nor are the ridiculous suggestions of wire-to-wire winner (+30000), winning by two shots or more (+20000), winning by three shots or more (+30000) or winning by four shots or more (+40000).

    DraftKings has their own pie in the sky option of Woods breaking the course record 63 at +20000.

    Now that we’ve got the unrealistic options out of the way, let’s look where we should be focused… on the bets that focus on a single round.

    Back with BetMGM there are many options for Thursday’s opening round where Woods goes off the 10th tee at 8:04 a.m. ET playing with Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley.

    For starters, the 82-time PGA TOUR winner is +275 to beat both Scott (+120) and Bradley (+170) over the 18 holes. While I’m leaning towards the Australian favorite in this matchup, a small crack at him beating two players in one day is certainly smarter than him finishing high over four rounds.

    The opening round specials I don’t like include for Woods to be bogey free (+2500), to make an eagle (+1000), to be first round leader (+12500), or first round top 5 (+2200) or top 10 (+1100).

    But I could be enticed into the +115 for him to birdie one of the four (albeit tough) par-3s. You can also get +188 on him starting his tournament with a birdie on the par-5 10th. A 590-yard monster, it won’t be easy, but certainly possible. Having him birdie all three par-5s, at +700, might be a stretch, though.

    I expect Woods will make errors, but I’d like to think he can still wow us with birdies as well. BetMGM has him at -105 to make four or more birdies/eagles in the round. I was thinking that three birdies might be the number, but hoping for one more is certainly a bet that could be fun to track on Thursday.

    The -110 to shoot 72 or lower isn’t juicy enough for me to bite. At the end of the day, we should be happy he’s still in the field given the turmoil his body has been through.

    FanDuel already has some hole-by-hole betting up and running, with his opening three holes look as follows:

    • Round 1, Hole 10 Score: Par -150; Birdie or better +185; Bogey or worse +500
    • Round 1, Hole 11 score: Par -250, Bogey or worse +320, Birdie or better +550
    • Round 1, Hole 12 score: Par -150, Bogey or worse +160; Birdie or better +750

    The 10th in a 590-yard par-5, the 11th a 211-yard par-3 and the 12th a 494-yard par-4. Not to be a downer, but the value might be picking one of the tough holes as a bogey option.

    At DraftKings, the breakdown over the opening three holes reverts to Woods against his playing partners.

    • Hole 10 winner: Woods +165, Scott +165, Bradley +165
    • Hole 11 Winner: Scott +155, Bradley +160, Woods +170
    • Hole 12 winner: Scott +155, Bradley +160, Woods +180

    Woods’ long-iron game has always been strong. Could he best the other two on the par-3 11th? That would be my fun play.

    Woods is +145 to beat Scott (-185) in the opening round or +120 to beat Bradley (-145). Again, while unlikely, perhaps a small outlay on one of these head-to-head battles at plus money is where you can add some entertainment to your viewing.

    Whether you bet on Woods or not, remember to just enjoy the fact we are still seeing him compete on the highest stage. He might not be the man from 24 years ago, but some magic still lies within. And these days, just getting a glimpse of that is the real return.

    For resources to overcome a gambling problem, call or text 1-800-GAMBLER today.

    Senior Writer, Golfbet Follow Ben Everill on Twitter.

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