Tiger Woods hasn’t won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open, but that hasn’t stopped sportsbooks from installing the superstar as the odds-on favorite to win the 2014 Masters.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Shane Bacon, Woods is currently 5-1 to don the green jacket at Augusta National next April. ESPN's Darren Rovell states the 2014 Masters odds are courtesy of the Last Vegas Hotel:
Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson—the two co-favorites after Woods—have both been assigned 12-1 odds in the tournament.
Woods notably went another season without capturing a major in 2013, with his closest calls coming at The Masters, in which he tied for fourth, and the British Open, in which he tied for sixth.
The 37-year-old won’t get another crack at breaking his majorless streak until play begins in Georgia next April. Woods has won four of his 14 majors at The Masters, including his first back in 1997.
His pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors almost resumed at Augusta this year, but a controversial drop penalty cost him two strokes—and nearly resulted in a disqualification—in a tourney he lost by just four strokes.
Due to his status as a fan favorite and consummate winner, Woods has always been given short odds to win the biggest events.
Although his reputation as a clutch player who is nearly unbeatable on championship Sundays has waned in recent years, the fact remains that Woods is still one of the world’s best golfers.
Woods has finished first in a number of tournaments since his last major victory, including an incredible showing at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational leading up to the 2013 PGA Championship. He shot a 265, good for a 15-under par finish and a winning margin of seven strokes.
Performances such as that continue to validate the many bettors who back Woods. These supporters feel he is bound to break the slump soon and continue to put big money on him in every event, not just majors.
Tiger’s top competition in next year's Masters projects to not only come from McIlroy and Mickelson, but also Adam Scott—who won The Masters in 2013.
The Australian star is currently 15-1 to accomplish the rare feat of back-to-back victories at Augusta.
Other popular golfers who have been assigned odds include 2013 U.S. Open winner Justin Rose at 25-1, 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel at 33-1 and 2012 Masters champ Bubba Watson at 40-1.
Despite the sheer amount of skilled competitors likely to participate in the 2014 Masters, Woods will have to once again bear the burden of being the favorite to win it all.