British Open May End Tiger Woods' Run as Sports Betting Favorite
While Louis Oosthuizen celebrated his runaway victory this weekend on St. Andrews' Old Course, the fate of the most famed player in golf history remains more uncertain than ever before. Tiger Woods not only failed to challenge at the British Open, but his erratic play may remove him from his familiar spot as the gambling favorite of any tournament he enters. The unbeatable champion may have been taken down by Elin Nordegren when no golfer could have done the same.
Sports betting oddsmakers have automatically installed Tiger as the choice to win every time he plays for almost a decade. At the height of his dominance, Woods was frequently favored by bookmakers over the entire field, and many players successfully gambled on Woods to rout all opponents.
After all, this was the man raised from infancy to be the best golfer the world had ever seen, and for years it has seemed his destiny to achieve that goal. Tiger went so far as to defeat the world's best players in the 2009 US Open while playing with a broken leg.
But Tiger's marital infidelities hit the newspapers, and the total disruption of his personal life has apparently left his game in tatters. No longer do the drives find the green with uncanny accuracy, nor do the putts curve magically into the cup.
Woods fell 13 strokes behind Oosthuizen by the time the British Open ended. But, even worse, Tiger finished tied for 23rd on a course he had avowed his favorite, one on which he has set records.
Many wondered how long it would take Tiger Woods to regain his game after his public embarrassment and subsequent separation from wife Elin and his children. Now, the question may be not when, but if Tiger can return to the icy focus which allowed him to play golf on a level beyond any other man in history.
Until then, gambling patrons will likely be hedging their sports bets, putting such names as Phil Mickleson and Retief Goosen even with Tiger as favorites for future golf tournaments.
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