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:
  • Full Coverage - The Masters
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    Woods, Leishman, Fleetwood grouped at Northern Trust

    By Will GrayAugust 20, 2018, 10:55 pm

    While 125 players qualified for The Northern Trust this week, only 120 have decided to tee it up at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey. Here's a look at a few of the marquee, early-round tee times where players are grouped via FedExCup standing and Tiger Woods makes his first start since a runner-up performance at the PGA Championship (all times ET):

    7:54 a.m. Thursday, 12:55 p.m. Friday: Tiger Woods, Marc Leishman, Tommy Fleetwood

    Woods starts the postseason at No. 20 in the points race, with a great chance to advance to the season-ending Tour Championship for the first time since 2013. He'll look to pad his point total this week in the Garden State, making his return to competition after a week off following a strong showing at Bellerive. He'll play the first two rounds with Leishman, who has two runner-up finishes this season, and Fleetwood, who nearly caught Brooks Koepka at the U.S. Open.


    8:05 a.m. Thursday, 1:06 p.m. Friday: Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka

    There should be no shortage of eye-popping drives from this trio, who comprise the top three in the season-long points race heading into the playoffs. Johnson holds the No. 1 spot in both the world rankings and the FedExCup, having won three times since January, while Thomas will look to become the first player to go back-to-back in the playoffs and Koepka hopes to add to a career year that already includes two majors.


    8:16 a.m. Thursday, 1:17 p.m. Friday: Webb Simpson, Francesco Molinari, Bryson DeChambeau

    Simpson got back into the winner's circle in impressive fashion at The Players Championship, and he heads into the playoffs off a T-2 finish last week at the Wyndham Championship. Molinari cruised to victory at the Quicken Loans National before his major triumph at Carnoustie, while DeChambeau's win at the Memorial highlighted his season that brought him to the cusp of a Ryder Cup berth.


    12:44 p.m. Thursday, 7:43 a.m. Friday: Jordan Spieth, Beau Hossler, Byeong-Hun An

    Normally featured among the points leaders at this point in the season, Spieth heads into the playoffs at No. 43 in the standings, sandwiched between a pair of players whose best results came in playoff losses. Hossler has had a quietly strong season that was highlighted by a runner-up to Ian Poulter in overtime at the Houston Open, while An lost a playoff to DeChambeau at the Memorial.


    12:55 p.m. Thursday, 7:54 a.m. Friday: Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson, Tony Finau

    There will be four green jackets among this group, as the reigning Masters champ is joined by a pair of Ryder Cup hopefuls in Mickelson and Finau. Lefty broke a lengthy victory drought with his WGC-Mexico win in March but has largely slowed this summer, while Finau notched top-10 finishes in each of the first three majors to enter the discussion for possible picks for Paris.

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    Randall's Rant: Too much Tiger for his own good?

    By Randall MellAugust 20, 2018, 10:00 pm

    We could be getting a dose of way too much Tiger Woods.

    Yeah, that’s difficult to fathom, given how good his return to the game has been on so many levels, but the man might be too close to winning for his own good right now.

    I’m not a doctor, I don’t play one on TV, and I didn’t sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but a reasonable person has to wonder how playing the next three weeks in a row – five of the next six weeks – will affect Woods’ surgically fused spine.

    That isn’t to say Woods is actually going to end up playing that much, but it looms as a real possibility.

    In fact, dating back to the WGC Bridgestone, it’s possible he could be amid a run of playing seven times in the last nine weeks.

    My sacroiliac joint is throbbing at the thought.

    Beginning with The Northern Trust this week, Woods is committed to the first three legs of the FedExCup Playoffs, and it’s difficult to imagine he wouldn’t play the final leg at the Tour Championship if he qualifies.

    It’s impossible to imagine he won’t be among Jim Furyk’s four captain’s picks to play the Ryder Cup.

    So if Woods continues this streak of strong play, what’s going to give?

    We hope it isn’t his back.

    Or his neck.

    Or his knees.

    Only Woods and his doctors really know how much the 42-year-old can take physically, but there is more to lose than to gain by overdoing it now.

    Yeah, the FedExCup Playoffs are great fun, more meaningful with each passing year, but it’s all about the major championships now for Woods.

    Competitively, it’s all that matters.

    Nobody but the most anal Tiger fans are going to remember how many FedExCups he won, but we’re all going to remember how many majors he won.

    We’re all going to remember him resuming his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus, if that’s where his summer tease is taking us, with Woods’ T-6 at The Open last month and his second-place finish at the PGA Championship two weeks ago.

    Whether you are a Woods fan or not, how can you not want to see a historic chase of Jack as Tiger’s last chapter?

    The game soars to yet another level with that.

    A legion of young, new fans come pouring into the game even if Tiger only gets to 17 major championship titles.

    So while the FedExCup Playoffs give us a postseason in golf, make Player of the Year chases more interesting and Ryder Cup captain’s picks more intriguing, they are a mere prelude for Tiger.

    The playoffs give him another chance to get ready for next year’s Masters.

    They give him a chance to win something before heading to Augusta National.

    They give him another chance to rebuild his closing skills.

    Woods doesn’t have to win the overall FedExCup to do that.

    And he doesn’t have to play every event he commits to playing. He’s 20th in FedExCup points right now. He can get to the Tour Championship without playing all three of the legs leading there.

    The tough spot for Woods is withdrawing from a FedExCup event. It’s trickier for him. With all the extra tickets sold when he commits, with all the excitement his anticipated arrival creates, it feels like a broken promise when he backs out.

    Yeah, other players WD before big events for reasons beyond injury, but they don’t create the massive disappointment Woods creates.

    For somebody invested in wanting to see Tiger vs. Jack reprised, it’s a lot easier to live with seeing Woods pull out of a FedExCup Playoff event to rest than to see him WD from one with an injury.

    There’s more excitement in the prospect of seeing a lot of Woods in the majors next year than seeing too much of him now.

    Here’s hoping somebody helps Tiger gets his FedExCup Playoff dosage right. His pain could be golf’s pain.

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    Watch: Marshawn Lynch's golf game could use some work

    By Grill Room TeamAugust 20, 2018, 8:15 pm

    NFL star running back Marshawn Lynch is pretty great at driving golf carts, but from the looks of a video that surfaced this weekend, his golf prowess starts and ends there.

    "Beast Mode" was in attendance at Klay Thompson's charity event in San Francisco on Sunday, and luckily the Golden State Warriors shooting guard caught Lynch's swing on camera - because it is a sight to behold.

    Dressed in a traditional golf hoodie, the former Super Bowl champion who has been thrilling fans with his raw athleticism and power on the gridiron for more than a decade showed off a swing that would make Charles Barkley blush.

    Lynch was not questioned about the swing by members of media afterwards, although there's a pretty good chance you already know how he would've answered.

    Getty Images

    Stenson (elbow) withdraws from playoff opener

    By Will GrayAugust 20, 2018, 5:41 pm

    Former FedExCup champ Henrik Stenson will start his postseason on the sideline, as he withdrew on Monday from The Northern Trust because of an elbow injury.

    Stenson captured the season-long title back in 2013, when he won two of the four playoff events. At 50th in the current points standings, he's assured of a spot next week at the 100-man Dell Technologies Championship and likely to make the field at the 70-man BMW Championship the following week.

    A PGA Tour official confirmed that Stenson cited the elbow injury as the reason for his withdrawal. He was bothered by an injured elbow last month that led him to withdraw from the Scottish Open and limited his prep for The Open, where he tied for 35th.

    The 42-year-old defended his title last week at the Wyndham Championship, tying for 20th place after shooting a 6-under 64 in the final round.

    "It's fine, I can practice and I can play without any problems as of now, but I can't really go after it in the gym fully," Stenson told reporters last week in Greensboro. "The main thing that we can play and practice without having any problems there, so it's getting better."

    The intrigue around Stenson's decision grows when the context of the Ryder Cup is taken into consideration. The Swede has represented Europe in the biennial matches four times, but he's currently 16th in both the European Points and World Points lists with only two weeks remaining in the qualification window.

    Even before skipping this week's event in New Jersey, Stenson appeared likely to need a pick from captain Thomas Bjorn, who will round out his 12-man roster with four selections on Sept. 5. Other notable players who are not currently in position to qualify include Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Russell Knox, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Thomas Pieters.

    Stenson becomes the fifth player to withdraw from this week's field, which does not feature alternates and is now down to 120 players. Rory McIlroy opted to rest up this week, while Patrick Rodgers is skipping the tournament to attend a wedding. Both Rickie Fowler (oblique) and Bud Cauley (June car accident) withdrew because of injury.