Tiger Woods didn't win a Major in 2009 but he did find himself in major marital trouble, a factor which could have a huge impact on the always difficult and tricky prospect of trying to earn some cash through golf betting, in 2010.
While every PGA Tour—and 2010 will be no exception—has its share of triple digit winners, the question always is whether to take a short price and bet on Woods or to hunt for long odds and wager against him. That chore could be complicated in 2010 because Woods, who has taken a voluntary leave of absence from the Tour in an attempt to repair his marriage following several incidents of infidelity, may lack his legendary mental focus and discipline once he returns to the PGA circuit.
Of course, leave it to ambitious sportsbooks to create some wagering opportunities based on Woods' indiscretions. For example, you can get +600 (bet $100 to win $600) that Woods does not play in a single PGA Tour event in 2010. Those cynical that the world's No. 1 player would not take off an entire year can lay -1000 (bet $1,000 to win $100) that Woods does hit the links for a PGA Tour event in 2010.
You also can wager on which tournament lures Woods from exile, first. The odds are +300 that it's The Masters (April 8), +400 that it's the US Open (June 17), +450 that the Arnold Palmer Invitational (March 25), which Woods has used as a prep for The Masters in prior years, is first, +500 that it's the Accenture Match Play (Feb. 17), +800 on The Memorial (June 3), as well as escalating odds on a number of other tournaments.
You lay -200 that Woods makes The Masters his first Major of the year, or take +400 that it's the US Open, +900 that it's the British Open (July 15) or +1600 that it's the PGA Championship (Aug. 12). You also can get +350 that Woods elects not to play a Major in 2010.
There's also the customary future book on how many majors Woods will win this year, a wager complicated by his current predicament. “None” is the favorite at +125, closely followed by “One” at +137. You can get +400 that Woods captures two Major titles in 2010 and +1600 that he wins three majors. A Woods Grand Slam is worth +3300.
Sportsbooks always assume Woods will win the money title so they annually also post a future on which golfer will finish second in earnings, a prop that has more interest, given Woods' uncertain schedule for 2010. As you might expect, Phil Mickelson is the favorite, at odds of +150. Steve Stricker is the +750 second choice with Jim Furyk at +1200 and Zach Johnson at +1600. Sean O'Hair and Anthony Kim check in at +2000 with Hunter Mahan offered at +2500. In all, 45 golfers are listed with Webb Simpson, Jason Dufner and Jeff Klauk each listed at +25000 to finish second to Woods in earnings. Good luck, there.
Some sportsbooks also are offering an interesting golf betting proposition on the year's lowest round in a PGA event. Exactly 60 is a -150 favorite with 61 or higher at +220 and 59 or lower at +450.
Golf betting can be provincial so it should come as little surprise that many European based sportsbooks are offering a prop on which of the continent's players will be next to win a Major. Padraig Harrington, who has a trio of Major trophies on his mantle, is the +500 favorite to add a fourth before Rory McIlroy, +600, Lee Westwood, +600, Sergio Garcia, +900 or Paul Casey +1000, earn their first.
Speaking of majors, there's a prop on which golfer will be next to win his first Major championship. Westwood and McIlroy each are offered at odds of +1200 while Gracia, Ross Fisher and Henrik Stenson each are held at +1400. Other notables include Steve Stricker, +2500, Kenny Perry, +2800, Justin Rose, +4000, Robert Allenby, +6600, Rory Sabbatini, +8000, and J.B. Holmes, +10000.
Sportsbooks also are offering odds on players other than Woods winning at least one Major in 2010. Mickelson is +200 to accomplish the feat while Harrington is +450.
If you like consistency then bet on which golfers will card top 10 finishes in all four Major championships. Woods is +150 to do it but everyone else is a big price, including Mickelson at +2000, Harrington at +2500, Furyk at +8000 and Ernie Els at +10000.
In addition, sportsbooks will post win odds on each week's tournament, making sure that with or without Woods, golf betting fans will have plenty of wagering options in 2010.