Tiger Woods Has Bookmakers Sweating After Third Round of Masters

(Bloomberg) -- Bookmakers at the Masters are on the hook for a potentially huge payout.

With one round remaining at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, Tiger Woods is two shots off the lead held by Francesco Molinari and will play in the final group tomorrow morning. Woods is a 3/1 shot at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, while Molinari is the 7/4 favorite.

On the eve of the event, William Hill reported one gambler in Nevada placed an $85,000 bet that would pay out $1.2 million if Woods dons his fifth green jacket on Sunday evening.

All this for a 43-year-old who hasn’t won a major tournament since 2008 and whose golf, health and personal life fell apart soon after. But he’s recently shown signs of regaining some of the form that saw him dominate the sport for a decade, amassing 14 major titles and becoming a global brand along the way. In September, Woods won the season-ending Tour Championship, his first pro title since 2013.

With Tiger back in the mix there’s renewed interest in one of the most iconic events in sports. The galleries following him this weekend were large and loud, while a hole-by-hole account of his latest round was the headline item on pgatour.com, which runs the pro golf tour in North America. Even President Donald Trump weighed in, wishing Woods luck on Twitter.

In conditions described by three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo as “absolutely perfect,” a succession of players rattled off birdie after birdie on the rain-softened greens. The third day of a major tournament is often known as “moving day” because organizers tend to put the flags in gettable positions, but on Saturday more pros than normal shot below-par rounds. Three players shot 8-under par, a stroke off the course record.

Before the tournament began on Thursday, Paddy Power discussed which seven players posed the most danger for the people running golf books. Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy was top of the pile but is now out of contention, and Woods was ranked the fourth-biggest potential liability.

“If the Woods-meister starts shooting the lights out everyone will want a piece of the action and that could mean carnage,” the Dublin-based betting company said. “We’ll be diving for cover if Woods starts to put on a Masters-class.”

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