Debate: Should Tiger still be a bookies’ favourite at Augusta?

Bad back, poor form yet Tiger Woods is still one of the favourites to win the Masters. Two of our team debate whether or not this should be the case.

Tiger’s latest injury setback has put his Masters campaign in doubt. But bookmakers still make the World No.1 second favourite for the Green Jacket with odds as short as 8/1. Should he be classed as an outsider seeing as he is struggling to be fit and is out of form? Or does his course record make him a genuine contender this year? James Savage (JS) and James Tompkinson (JT) debate the issue.

JS – I think Tiger should be a huge outsider this year. I wouldn’t be getting involved at those odds. Even is he does recover in time to play, his game is simply not in good enough shape to win at Augusta.

JT – Not that long ago, getting odds of around 10/1 on Tiger at the Masters would have just been unheard of. We all know about his back problems, and if they rule him out of the tournament then so be it. That said, if he plays, then history tells you that the price is very good. Woods has only finished outside of the top five at the Masters on one occasion since 2005, and has had 13 top-10 finishes in his 17 professional starts at Augusta. Not a bad each-way bet.

JS – I appreciate Tiger has a great record at Augusta but you have to look at current form. His three events this year are T80, M/C, T25. No one actually knows how bad the injury is and how much it is affecting his game. Either way, I’m struggling to see why he should be second favourite.
I would be very surprised if you didn’t see a some sort of return on an each-way bet JT – Although his current form is poor, there is something that seems to happen to Tiger in the Masters. If it were any other PGA Tour event then I may be inclined to agree with you, but Woods is so good at Augusta and the course seems to suit his game perfectly. I’m not saying that I expect him to win, because I don’t. However at 10/1 I would be very surprised if you didn’t see a some sort of return on an each-way bet.

JS – If you are going on Augusta form, the likes of Angel Cabrera at 66/1 are what I would call good value. Each way on Tiger at 8/1 isn’t. It just baffles me slightly that no matter what form he is in, injured or not, bookies are scared to give him a decent price. His last victory at Augusta was nearly a decade ago. Eight players have won it since he last did. I would be genuinely stunned if he wins this year. 

JT – I agree with you on Cabrera and it surely would be worth an each-way bet on him performing well at Augusta this year. I just think that for a player of Tiger’s quality and with his Augusta record, his current price of between 8/1 and 10/1 is probably fair. I’m not sure the back injury will play too much of a part, other than in media stories around the event. If Woods is fit enough to play then he will, and he will probably do quite well.

Have your say on the issue in the comments box below.

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