Woods’ Masters Win Costs Sportsbooks Millions

The golf industry should undoubtedly get a nice little boost from Tiger Woods’ most recent victory, but one institution that was licking its wounds in the aftermath of his Masters victory was bookmakers.

For the better part of two decades, sportsbooks around the world have had to handle Woods’ popularity and betting odds with extreme caution given the potential for a large windfall.

That chicken came home to roost on Sunday, particularly among three United States-based books: William Hill, DraftKings and FanDuel. 

According to The Action Network’s Darren Rovell, all three sportsbooks paid out over $1 million in Tiger tickets with William Hill paying out $1.19 to an individual bettor who placed an $85,000 on Woods to win on Tuesday at 14-to-1 odds.

“It’s rare that someone bets that much on something like that,” William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said. “We pay it out and move on. We have so many bets coming in.”

Not surprisingly, the bet resulted in the largest single payout of a golf bet for the U.S.-based division, and the 2019 Masters as a whole was the company’s biggest golf loss ever.

DraftKings and FanDuel reported losses after lengthening Woods’ odds going into the weekend into double digits. FanDuel reported a $2 million loss, more than half of which was the result of a contest that offered a full refund of the entry fee ($15) if Woods won.

“Tiger winning is good for the sport and good for our customers,” Mike Raffensperger, chief marketing officer for FanDuel, said. 

The books have adjusted for future potential Woods victories. Odds for the Grand Slam set by the Westgate — Woods winning all four majors this year — were previously set at 500-1. After the victory on Sunday, it was taken down to 35-1.