Odds On The Masters Tournament - COPIED

By Chris DatresJune 11, 2008, 4:00 pm
Have you ever looked at the odds boards in a Vegas casino and wondered what the explanation was as to why a golfer was a 5-to-1 pick to win a certain event? Well, thats what I hope to achieve ' to give you the reasons behind the numbers that are posted. Of course, Vegas has saner reasons for the numbers their computers spit out. Without further ado, lets get to the facts and figures and the stories behind them. And as I tell my co-workers when they dont like the odds I set for some of our friendly competitions ' play better and prove me wrong.
 
THE CONTENDERS
 
Tiger Woods (EVEN): Yeah, I know. Its a real shock that Tigers the favorite, right? Well, here are some reasons NOT to pick Mr. No. 1 at Augusta. Hes an ordinary 1 for his last 5 at Augusta, including over-par efforts in three of those appearances. He hasnt cracked 70 in his last nine rounds. And if youre banking on streaks, well, chew on this ' if he wins the Masters, hell tie Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan AND Arnold Palmer. Granted, itll be a tie pretty far down the list on the All-Time Win Streak list. Of course, I didnt mention that hed also tie the likes of J.C. Snead, Bobby Nichols, Ben Curtis, and Ryan Palmer who also at one time in their PGA TOUR careers had a one-tournament win streak. Choose at your own risk!!
 
Phil Mickelson (3-1): Its an even-numbered year so expect Lefty to be near the top. In his career, hes averaged a fourth-place finish in even-numbered years, including his wins in 04 and 06. But heres my question ' if Phil can pull it off again at Augusta, will his now 5-year-old son, Evan take laps around the 18th green like he did at Baltusrol after the 2005 PGA? Id like to see the look on the greenjackets faces when someone shows pure joyful emotion.
 
Zach Johnson (5-1): Its only right that Zach gets the 5-1 odds since he ruled the par-5s in his breakthrough 2007 performance. If he should pull off the double, hed be the first player not named Tiger Woods to repeat since Nick Faldo pulled it off in 1990. Georgians refer to him by another name ' General Sherman. Hes burned his way through the state in his last three tournaments there -- a win at both the Masters and the AT&T Classic, followed by a third-round 60 at the TOUR Championship.
 
Ernie Els (10-1): Lets run down the Big Easys performance chart since he won the Honda at the beginning of March ' a missed cut at PODS, a withdrawal from Arnold Palmer due to fatigue (reports of him being tired of getting his butt kicked by Tiger were unfoundedthus far), and a 75th-place finish out of 77 golfers who completed the WGC-CA Championship, which sent him scurrying to an impromptu lesson with Butch Harmon, with whom he has now aligned forces. If this were horse racing, Ernie would get sent back to a claiming race to regain his confidence. So why is he amongst the contenders? Because I still remember his five straight top-6s at the beginning of this decade and maybe he can recall that past success rather than the fact that he hasnt broken 70 in any of his last 10 Augusta rounds.
 

THE SLEEPERS
 
Retief Goosen (15-1): The Goose is in this section only because hes slept through most of the past year. But at this number, he could be the steal of the century. He has three straight top-3s and hes closed with sub-70 rounds in all of those. But the key to Retief at Augusta is that he plays from behind. In 2002, he was tied for the lead after three rounds with Tiger Woods and that usually doesnt end too well for the other guy in major championships. He shot 74. Tiger doesnt shoot over par in final rounds when in the lead in major championships.
 
Vijay Singh (15-1): THE BIG FIJIAN (cmon, say it like the kids) cant like the way hes performed when hes ascended to the top of the leaderboard. He yakked away Pebble Beach in February and then had pretty good control over Arnies event until he decided to go swimming on Saturday. He still hasnt won in the U.S. since last March and these two setbacks cant bode too well under major pressure.
 
Rory Sabbatini (20-1): I would think Rory will be near the top of the leaderboard once we get to the weekend. The only question will be whether or not he mentions the name of a certain golfer who hes had a bit of a feud with recently. No, Ben Crane is not in the field this year. If Tiger and Rory are linked in the same sentence anytime after 7 p.m. on Friday, all bets are off.
 
Sergio Garcia (20-1): Sonic Restaurants claim they have 168,894 different possible drink combinations to choose from on their menu. Id say at this point that Sergio is about halfway there with his putting options. Lets see, do I go with the cross-handed grip on the conventional putter, the split grip on the belly putter, or maybe just for Augustas slick greens, Ill put the fat grip on the belly putter and go with that claw grip I see everyone using. Yeah, with that large number of options, hes an easy pick to tame these greens.
 
Argentine Combo (25-1): Both Andres Romero and Angel Cabrera can bomb the ball off the tee and both have tested well on major championship venues (Romero getting a hard-luck 3rd at Carnoustie; Cabrera winning at Oakmont). But, please learn from your elders and triple-check your scorecard on Sunday so you dont end up calling yourself a stupid.
 
Justin Rose (30-1): He was very close to winning this tournament until he realized that very fact and started spraying tee shots into trouble. If this was Jeopardy and Alex Trebek posed that answer to you, wed accept any of a number of questions ' What is the 2007 Masters? What is the 2007 Bob Hope? What is the 2006 Disney? You get the idea.
 
Any Australian (50-1): No Australian has ever won the Masters. Stuart Appleby flirted with the idea last year before history and Zach Johnson stepped in. There are eight Aussies in the field and I think Geoff Ogilvy probably has the best shot. But listen, if the Masters wouldnt let Greg Norman win just one green jacket, they probably wont let anyone else from his country win one either.
 
The Special Invitees (150-1): The Masters Committee elected to bring Prayad Marksaeng, Liang Wen-Chong, and Jeev Milkha Singh to Augusta to help grow the game internationally. Wouldnt it just be the sugar in Colin Montgomeries tea (see below) if one of these guys won?
 

OFF THE BOARD
 
Colin Montgomerie: The weather forecast calls for sunshine most of the week. Mother Nature must know Mr. Black Cloud wont be anywhere to be found. Monty has been a subject of ridicule in the U.S. for a number of years and just when he was beginning to get on everyones good side, he insults Asian golfers after being passed over for a Masters invite in favor of the three players listed above. I wonder how this is going to play if Monty again represents Scotland in the World Cup which will be played inwait for itChina.
 
John Daly: The big lug wont be able to duck into a Hooters tent during any rain delays that the Masters may endure. Instead, hell likely be hanging out at the Hooters on Washington Road signing just about everything you could ever want. Just dont ask him to stoop over too much. You know, he does have a bad back. Thats what drove him out of Houston last week and not that pesky 9-over he had going before the rains hit on Friday.
 
Richard Johnson: If Daly is Mr. Hooters, Johnson is Mr. Waffle House. The leading money winner on the 2007 Nationwide Tour punched his ticket to THE PLAYERS next month but couldnt get anything going to work his way into Augusta. Thats a shame because after graduating Augusta State, he was the manager at the Washington Road Waffle House when Tiger won his first green jacket in 1997. That would have been a juicy prop matchup if he and Daly were in the tournament ' a dozen hot wings vs. a stack of pancakes and sausage links.
 

THE PROPS
 
TRADITION! TRADITION! (Fiddler on the Roof DVD sold separately)
  • Over/Under number of times the phrase tradition unlike any other is uttered ' 30
     
    CHANCES ARE
  • Over/Under number of times a CBS announcer says a putt is makeable -- too many to list. Besides, theyre ALL makeable, Bobby.
     
    HIGHEST SCORE DOES WIN
  • Over/Under worst single-round score of the week ' 83 . Billy Casper, Tommy Aaron, and Charles Coody choosing not to play brought this number down a couple of ticks.
     
    AMATEUR NIGHT
  • Which amateur will have the best finish:
    Trip Kuehne +105
    Drew Weaver+220
    Michael Thompson+300
    Colt KnostOFF ' oops, he turned pro and gave up his invitation.
     
    WINNERS STAY
  • Which past champion will have the best finish (of those who have very little chance of winning)
    Bernhard Langer+115
    Ben Crenshaw+200
    Sandy Lyle+275
    Mark OMeara+325
    Craig Stadler+350
    Tom Watson+375
    Fuzzy Zoeller+450
    Ian Woosnam+525
    Larry Mize+600
    Ray Floyd+750
    Gary Player+850
     
    FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME
  • Which rookie Masters participant will have the best finish (complimentary cigarette not included)
    Nick Watney+150
    Andres Romero+225
    Boo Weekley+275
    J.B. Holmes+300
    Bubba Watson+400
     
    PARTY LIKE ITS1989?
  • Over/Under shortest putt missed: 16 inches ' Scott Hoch will even help you read it.
     
    You are now properly armed with all the necessary information to make a winning pick in the 72nd Masters Tournament. Choose wiselyas in, take that guy who wears the red shirt on Sunday and has 64 other PGA TOUR victories. This feature will return for THE PLAYERS on May 8.
     
    Related Links:
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  • Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee:

    Fitzpatrick one back in 2018 Euro Tour opener

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

    HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia had six birdies and a bogey Thursday for a 5-under 65 and a one-stroke lead at the Hong Kong Open, the first event of the 2018 European Tour season.

    Playing in sunny but breezy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club, the greens had the players struggling to gauge the approach.

    ''Very tough conditions today,'' Chawrasia said. ''It's very firm greens, to be honest. I'm just trying to hit the second shot on the green and trying to make it like a two-putt.''


    Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


    Shubhankar Sharma and Matthew Fitzpatrick (both 66) were one shot behind, while seven others were tied for fourth a further stroke behind.

    ''Hit it great tee to green,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I think I had like seven or eight chances inside 15 feet, and on a day like today when it's so windy and such a tough golf course, with how tight it is, yeah, it was a good day.''

    Justin Rose, who won the title in 2015, shot was 2 under with five birdies and three bogeys.

    ''I think the course played a couple shots harder than it typically does,'' Rose said. ''I like this course. I think it offers plenty of birdie opportunities.''

    Masters champion Sergio GarciaRafa Cabrera Bello and defending champion Sam Brazel (69) were in a group of 16 at 1 under.

    Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

    By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

    The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

    Leaderboard: Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

    What it means: Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.


    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


    Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

    Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

    Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

    Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday.