Tiger Woods' odds to win the Masters are already soaring

  • Tiger Woods made his return to competitive golf on Thursday, shooting a three-under 69 at the Hero World Challenge.
  • By the end of the round, his odds of winning the Masters had surged from 66/1 to 33/1.


Tiger Woods is off to a solid start in his latest return to competitive golf, and bettors across the country were quick to take notice.

The 14-time major champion spent almost all of this year recovering from back surgery, but he became the talk of the sports world when he circled his foundation's tournament, the Hero World Challenge, as the stage for his comeback. Nearly every shot in Woods' opening round was admired, scrutinized, and tweeted about, and by the time it was over, he had a three-under 69, just three strokes off the lead.

11 PHOTOS
Tiger Woods at the 2017 Hero World Challenge
See Gallery
Tiger Woods at the 2017 Hero World Challenge
NASSAU, BAHAMAS - NOVEMBER 30: Tiger Woods of the United States walks off of the 18th green during the first round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany, Bahamas on November 30, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
NASSAU, BAHAMAS - NOVEMBER 30: Tiger Woods plays his shot from the 18th tee during the first round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany course on November 30, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Ryan Young/PGA TOUR)
November 30, 2017; New Providence, The Bahamas; Tiger Woods (right) smiles at Justin Thomas (left) on the 11th hole during the first round of the Hero World Challenge golf tournament at Albany. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
NASSAU, BAHAMAS - NOVEMBER 30: Tiger Woods waits to play his next shot on the seventh hole during the first round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany course on November 30, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Ryan Young/PGA TOUR)
NASSAU, BAHAMAS - NOVEMBER 30: Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the seventh green during the first round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany course on November 30, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Ryan Young/PGA TOUR)
NASSAU, BAHAMAS - NOVEMBER 30: Tiger Woods of the United States reacts to his birdie on the eighth green during the first round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany, Bahamas on November 30, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
NASSAU, BAHAMAS - NOVEMBER 30: Tiger Woods of the United States walks on the ninth hole during the first round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany, Bahamas on November 30, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
NASSAU, BAHAMAS - NOVEMBER 30: Tiger Woods of the United States warms up on the range for the first round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany, Bahamas on November 30, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
NASSAU, BAHAMAS - NOVEMBER 30: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his shot from the sixth tee during the first round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany, Bahamas on November 30, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
NASSAU, BAHAMAS - NOVEMBER 30: Tiger Woods plays his shot from the 14th tee during the first round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany course on November 30, 2017 in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo by Ryan Young/PGA TOUR)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

It would be an overreaction to make any definitive judgments after just one round, but when it comes to Woods, overreactions are par for the course. While he opened Thursday as a 66/1 choice to win the Masters, his odds soared to 33/1 after the round, a staggering rise for just 18 holes of golf. Those odds come from Bovada and Vegas Insider.

It's a perfect encapsulation of the almost hysterical atmosphere that has been present during every one of Woods' comebacks. Any golf fan knows that life on the PGA Tour can be a grind, especially for a 41-year-old who's undergone four back surgeries in the last half decade. There's no reason interpret one round in November as a sign of an impending return to Butler Cabin, yet fans want to believe it so badly that they ended up dramatically raising his odds.

It's hard to say if Woods' chances of winning the Masters are really as good as some of the others listed at 33/1, like Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, and Phil Mickelson — he still needs more reps to fully shake off the competitive rust. But with four green jackets and nine other top-10 finishes in 20 appearances at Augusta National, there's no doubting his comfort with the course.

See more early odds for the 2018 Masters: 

21 PHOTOS
Early odds to win 2018 Masters
See Gallery
Early odds to win 2018 Masters

Tiger Woods: 66/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Matt Kuchar: 50/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Louis Oosthuizen: 50/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Bubba Watson: 50/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Charl Schwartzel: 50/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Thomas Pieters: 40/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Henrik Stenson: 33/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Paul Casey : 33/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson: 33/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Zhe Ji/Getty Images)

Brooks Koepka: 28/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Adam Scott: 25/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Sergio Garcia: 25/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Jon Rahm: 18/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Justin Rose: 18/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images)

Justin Thomas: 16/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

Rickie Fowler: 16/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Hideki Matsuyama: 14/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Jason Day: 14/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Nigel Owen/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Dustin Johnson: 7/1

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Jordan Spieth: 13/2

Via Vegas Insider

(Photo by Steven Markham/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

None of this is to say that there weren't a number of positive signs from Woods' round at the World Challenge. He sank a number of clutch putts and swung his driver with power and ease, circling five birdies on the day. His short game, while not perfect, looked much better than it has at other times in the past few years. He also seemed relaxed, backing up Brad Faxon's positive assessment from last week.

The Hero World Challenge is set to conclude this Sunday. Woods is guaranteed to make a big jump in the world ranking, as even the worst finisher in the 18-man field will receive ranking points.

NOW WATCH: Inside the Texas Longhorns' amazing $7 million locker room

See Also:

SEE ALSO: The 30 most dominant college football programs

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.