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    Tiger Tracker: Augusta Season

    The CBS promos are rolling non-stop, I can hear the first riffs of “Augusta” on the piano in my head and springtime is in the air – it’s Masters season. Every year as professional golf’s first major championship rolls on, the memories come flooding back of Masters past, and the conversation always starts and ends around the status of Tiger Woods. Tiger is forever etched in golf and The Masters’ history from the moment he dominated in 1997 to his miraculous comeback victory in 2019. FIVE green jackets and a million headlines later, he’s still the talk of the tournament in 2023 for a variety of reasons. 

    Even Tiger will tell you at 47 years old he’s far from the Tiger that won any of his green jackets, but there’s no doubt he believes deep in the back of his brain that he is playing to contend and win. I’ve learned in my 3 decades of watching and playing sports that you never doubt the true greats from doing the unthinkable. Tiger went from mugshot in 2017 to Masters winner in 2019. Now we’ve seen him go from a near-death accident and endless surgeries to playing the weekend of a PGA Tour event in 2023 at Riviera. So, what’s Tiger’s forecast heading into golf’s most hallowed grounds at Augusta National?

    How Tiger Wins the Masters

    It’s a daunting thought and the idea of it seems like a mountain to climb for Eldrick, but you know he’ll fight and claw until there isn’t any golf left in front of him. As for a path in how Tiger dons another green jacket this year? The formula would include a firm and fast track where placement on approach shots is paramount. The winner would have to be single digits under par and he’ll frankly have to be putting lights out, which we haven’t seen done for 72 holes by El Tigre in a couple of seasons. I would also throw in some adverse conditions to toughen things up and make par a priority – but not too much to stiffen up the back or legs. Still, despite his wounded appendages and ailments, constant ice bath recovery after every round, and slim margins to succeed for a whole week, the oddsmakers aren’t doubting his chances as much as you may think.

    AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

    Tiger’s Changing Odds to Win the Masters

    As 2023 began there was a fair amount of uncertainty surrounding Tiger’s health and potential playing schedule. We know his time is limited and running out on the PGA Tour, but it always seems to be a true mystery where he would emerge. He was last seen in 2022 riding a golf cart and limping his way around a flat Florida golf course for 36 holes with Charlie, so 72 seemed incomprehensible. At the outset of the new year, he was off of some boards or listed in the 70/1-100/1 odds range, and then Riviera happened.

    Tiger broke the news fairly late in the proceedings that he would be teeing it up at the event he hosts via the Tiger Woods Foundation, The Genesis Open. Immediately speculation arose regarding his ability to walk an undulating and demanding California track. He quickly thwarted that doubt with a performance that left a surprising smirk on our faces – a made cut, four rounds with little pain, and a finish of under par for the week. Since that performance, his odds have fluctuated, and currently are at 70/1 to win The Masters.

    Tiger’s Props

    Tiger’s props are out on most major sportsbooks, giving us more ways to play on the Big Cat. Some of the obvious ‘no thank you’ bets include Wire to Wire Winner at +27000, To Win by 3 Shots or More at +21000, To Have a Hole in One (although how awesome would that be?) at +6500, and To Have a Tournament Albatross at +15000. I love Tiger as much as the next guy, but your money is better spent elsewhere. Two props are staring me directly in the face today, Bogey Free Round 1 at +2000 and a Top 20 finish at +230. If he’s going to be competitive at all this week, it starts with a statement in the first round. You’re banking on him coming out firing. Maybe the wheels fall off during the weekend, but the value for a bogey-free round 1 is too good to pass up.

    Tiger off the Course

    Unfortunately, the off-course drama continues to follow the Big Cat, and it’s led to questions about his playing schedule in the coming weeks and months. The world-class athlete who owns a yacht called “Privacy” and puts newspapers up on his windows to block tabloid voyeurs is certainly not one for the public’s attention when it’s unwanted. Tiger tends to lay low in these moments, and you can’t help but wonder if Tiger’s absence from THE PLAYERS had any connection to the current litigation being brought to him by ex-girlfriend Erica Herman. As he wrestles with yet another tabloid drama all while bringing up adolescent kids, his priorities are obviously being juggled vigorously. Will his game be sharper than it looked at Riviera? 

    How to Bet Tiger at the Masters

    Would I advise a bet on Tiger Woods to WIN the Masters outright at 70/1 odds? That’s a negative this go-round. I can’t in my goodwill advise you to put money on him to win the tournament, as much as I would LOVE to see him do the unimaginable under these circumstances. Where a Tiger fanboy could more wisely place their bet is on a top 30 or top 20 finish. The odds on Tiger to finish in the top 20 in 2022 were landing around +200, and I would expect that number to be about the same or lower in the +150 neighborhood for this year’s event. With it being a smaller overall major championship field and just the top 40 and ties making the cut, it’s much more feasible that Tiger grinds through to the weekend and drips into the top 20 on the board come Sunday.

    Alex’s Plays:

    Tiger to Finish Top 20: +230

    Bogey Free Round 1: +2000

    All Tiger Odds

    To Win+7000
    To Make the Cut-174
    To Miss the Cut+138
    Leader After Round 1+6000
    Top 5 After Round 1+1000
    Top 10 After Round 1+500
    Top 20 After Round 1+200
    To Have a Hole in One+6500
    Bogey Free Round 1+2000
    Top 5 Finish+1100
    Top 10 Finish+700
    Top 20 Finish+210
    Top 30 Finish+110
    Top 40 Finish-175
    Birdie or Better on 1st Hole of Tournament+500
    Top 10 Finish (Including Ties)+500
    Bogey Free Round in the Tournament+380
    Bogey Free Round 2+2000
    To Lead After Round 2 (Including Ties)+4100
    To Lead After Round 1 (Including Ties)+4100
    To Win by 2 Shots or More+10000
    To Have a Tournament Albatross+15000
    To Win by 3 Shots or More +21000
    Wire to Wire Winner+27000
    To Win by 4 Shots or More+32000
    All odds via FanDuel Sportsbook as of 4/4/23

    Golf FAQs

    How do PGA Golf Majors Pools work?

    In PGA Golf Majors Pools, member select six golfers to compete on a roster over the course of an event. The member with the best combined score from the six golfers wins.

    Can you include all four majors into one pool?

    Yes, but your commissioner can also customize these setting with RunYourPool. Pools can include up to all four majors, repicking golfers each time or adding bonus points for finishing positions

    How do I assemble a roster?

    Golfers are broken up in to six tiers, as members select one golfer per tier to be on their Major roster.

    What happens to golfers who miss the cut?

    Any PGA Player who does not make the cut will be given the highest score of Round 3 and Round 4, respectively.

    What are the four golf majors?

    The Masters is the first major of the season, in April. The PGA Championship and the U.S. Open follow, with the British Open ending as the final major.

    How do PGA One and Dones work?

    Members in a pool select one golfer to win a tournament, but can't pick that golfer again for the rest of the season. The member with the best score at the end of the season wins.

    What is a PGA One and Done pool?

    A PGA One-and-Done Pool is a contest similar to Survivor Pools, in which members can only select a golfer one time per season for events.

    Which tournaments are played for PGA One and Dones?

    Pool commissioners can set up the season for as many or as few tournaments as desired. Go crazy and do all of them! Or dial it back for the major events. As commissioner of a RunYourPool contest, you decide which events to play in!

    How to run a weekly golf pool?

    In order to run a golf pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like One and Done or Pick-X Pools. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.

    How do golf Pick-X Pools work?

    Members select a certain number of golfers per tournament, set by the pool commissioner. The member earns the total winnings that their selected golfer won for the tournament. Whichever member earns the most winnings over the duration of the season wins.

    What is a golf Pick-X Pool?

    A Pick-X Golf Pool calculates tournament winnings rather than strokes gained when deciding a winner. This amplifies the big name events that feature a higher prize purse.

    How to run a golf pool?

    How you decide to run a golf pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.

    What is a prop bet?

    Prop bets are any sort of pick or wager on a game that has nothing to do with the score or the final score outcome. Props can range from game types, to team types and even player types - such as who will score the game's first and last touchdowns? Other props, such as novelty or exotic, feature bets on things such as the coin flip or the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

    How do Masters Prop Bets Pools work?

    Pool members simply fill out a wide range of prop questions, each question worth a different value. Commissioners decide on the point value for each question, along with the amount of questions. Whichever member earns the most points based on corret answers wins the pool.

    When is the Masters?

    The Masters is typically in April and the first major of the golf season. The 2023 Masters is set for Thursday, April 6 and will run until Sunday, April 9.

    Where is the Masters played?

    The Masters is annually held at the Augusta National Golf Club located in Augusta, Georgia, USA.


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    About Author

    Alex Lauzon

    Lauzon is a podcast host, live broadcaster, analyst and betting extraordinaire for the Course of Life brand. After earning a degree in broadcast journalism at Quinnipiac University, he worked in ESPN and ESPN radio newsrooms. He has interviewed athletes and celebrities from all walks of life who often love to play golf. When he's not playing golf or talking about the game on Course of Life, Lauzon enjoys time with his wife and dog, checking off the next island vacation destination or counting down the days to the next Dell Match Play in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

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