Vegas faces Masters betting decline without Woods


Tiger Woods will miss the Masters for the first time since 1994, and the ripple effects of his withdrawal will be felt throughout next week at Augusta National. His absence will also impact a desert more than 2,000 miles from Magnolia Lane - Las Vegas.

According to Jeff Sherman, assistant manager at the Las Vegas Hotel SuperBook, the amount of money bet on the season's first major could be down as much as 20 percent without Woods in the field.

"There's so many people that say, 'I just want to root for Tiger,' and now they're not going to get the opportunity," Sherman told Bloomberg. "Those people don't turn their attention elsewhere."

Sherman indicated that the Masters is traditionally the most heavily-bet golf tournament of the year - "basically double" the amount of money wagered annually for the U.S. Open. He listed Woods as a 5/1 favorite when Masters betting opened in August following the PGA Championship, but was forced to up the odds on the world's top-ranked player as he battled back issues last month.

"Over the last few weeks, there’s been a lot less interest and I bumped his odds up to 10/1 prior to his withdrawal trying to attract more money because it hadn’t shown up like it has in the past," Sherman said.

With Woods out of the field, Sherman now lists Rory McIlroy as an 8/1 favorite at Augusta National, followed by Adam Scott and Jason Day, each currently listed at 10/1. Despite the fact that Day hasn't teed it up since winning the WGC-Match Play Championship in February, he's been a popular pick among bettors - Sherman has printed more tickets for Day to win the Masters than any other player, including Woods prior to his withdrawal. Other popular bets include Matt Kuchar (20/1) and Jordan Spieth, whose odds have been trimmed from 80/1 to 25/1 since August.