Tiger is playing.
That statement alone transforms golf tournaments. It adds a jolt of excitement and a little more intrigue to every round.
It doesn’t even matter that he’s unlikely to win, that he’s 20-1 at the moment, right next to Webb Simpson and Xander Schauffele. The mere fact that Tiger Woods is playing, that he could win, is bringing a lot of extra juice to this week’s Memorial Tournament.
The Memorial Tournament tees off at Muirfield Village again
On Thursday, the PGA Tour will start a second straight tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club just outside of Columbus, Ohio. But instead of a deja vu, Groundhog Day vibe for this week’s action, we have something totally different.
Call it the Tiger effect.
Even casual fans will turn a little more attention to golf this week. So let’s take a quick look at the PGA’s Memorial Tournament, along with all the available wagers at our region’s PA sports betting apps.
FOX Bet featuring lengthy list of Tiger betting specials
In case there was any doubt about the difference Tiger Woods makes to a tournament, FOX Bet has provided some proof. The sportsbook has seven different categories of “Tiger Specials,” with wagers on his first hole, driving accuracy and distance, greens in regulation, total birdies and a few other props.
Woods will have an uphill battle to win the Memorial Tournament on Sunday. He’s playing in his first tournament since February, and the field is loaded with star power. Collin Morikawa, who won the Workday Charity Open last week in a playoff with Justin Thomas, is back and +2000 according to BetRivers Sportsbook app and PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook. Thomas is the tournament favorite at +900.
Behind Thomas are Bryson Dechambeau (+1000), Rory McIlroy (+1200), Patrick Cantlay (+1400) and Dustin Johnson (+1600). Woods is farther down the list at +2000.
Last week’s tournament could provide some betting insight
The PGA Tournament doesn’t typically play back-to-back tournaments in the same location, so golfers’ performance last week could give bettors some course history to analyze. The Muirfield Village “doubleheader” resulted from the John Deere Classic being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic and the Workday Charity Open being added at the Columbus course.
However, a number of big-name players beyond Tiger skipped last week’s tournament, so this edition will have a much different feel. In fact, according to Golf.com, the tournament organizers intentionally grouped some of the top players together, so Woods will play in a group with McIlroy and Brooks Koepka (+2500) that tees off at 1:17 p.m. Thursday.
A couple of other interesting groups are Viktor Hovland (+2000), Ian Poulter (+8000) and Hideki Matsuyama (+2500), and Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele (+2000). The top players and their odds at BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse are as follows:
- Justin Thomas: +900
- Bryson Dechambeau: +1000
- Rory McIlroy: +1200
- Patrick Cantlay: +1400
- Dustin Johnson: +1600
- Jon Rahm: +1800
- Viktor Hovland: +2000
- Collin Morikawa: +2000
- Xander Schauffele: +2000
- Webb Simpson: +2000
- Tiger Woods: +2000
- Brooks Koepka: +2500
- Hideki Matsuyama: +2500
- Gary Woodland: +3000
- Daniel Berger: +3300
- Rickie Fowler: +3300
- Patrick Reed: +4000
- Abraham Ancer: +4500
- Jason Day, Tony Finau, Matt Kuchar: +5000
Odds are available on the entire field, with wagers posted for top 5, top 10 and top 20 finishes. Pricing varies at DraftKings, FanDuel and the region’s other sportsbooks, but there is a wealth of betting options for what figures to be the biggest tournament since golf’s return.
DraftKings contest features a prize pool of $3 million
This week’s DraftKings PGA Millionaire is a $20 entry contest that pays out a million dollars to first place and has a total prize pool of $3 million. Another $3 contest has a prize pool of $350K and a top payout of $30,000.
Over at FanDuel, the $9.99 entry Mega Eagle has a $500K prize pool and a top payout of $100,000. A cheaper $3 contest has a prize pool of $100K and pays out $10,000 to first place.
The Memorial Tournament tees off Thursday
The Memorial Tournament begins at 7 a.m. Thursday, with television coverage airing on the Golf Channel from 2:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the Golf Channel will broadcast the tournament early in the afternoon, with CBS Sports picking up the coverage later (starting around 3 p.m.).
PGA Tour Live will have an online stream each day, starting at 7:15 a.m. Thursday when the tournament begins.
Maybe it’s not a major tournament, but with all the big names, this week’s Memorial Tournament will certainly feel like it.
There will be a little more excitement, a little more intrigue in every round.
Call it the Tiger effect.