Tiger Woods is the favorite in Las Vegas once again.
Woods, fresh off his tie for second place at the Valspar Championship, opened as the favorite to win this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida. The Westgate SuperBook on Monday installed Woods as the 13-2 favorite to win at Bay Hill, where he has won eight times previously.
This is the first time Woods has been favored to win a PGA Tour event since the Honda Classic in 2014, when he was the co-favorite along with Rory McIlroy. And it is the first time Woods has been the outright favorite since the Farmers Insurance Open earlier that year, when he was 2-1 to win.
Woods has displayed his best form in years during his past two events. He finished 12th three weeks ago at the Honda Classic and on Sunday missed a birdie putt on No. 18 that would have forced a playoff.
Woods’ last PGA Tour event win came in 2013. He was the betting favorite in all four majors that season before enduring a series of injuries, resulting in multiple back surgeries and significant time away from the game.
Bettors have seen enough to believe Woods is back now. The first bet the Westgate took on the Arnold Palmer Invitational was a $2,000 wager on Woods at 13-2, according to SuperBook assistant manager Jeff Sherman. Woods’ recent performance also has generated a surge in betting action on his odds to win the Masters in April. He’s 10-1 at the Westgate. When the odds on the Masters were first opened in August, Woods was listed at 100-1.
Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technology also reported a flurry of action on Woods to win the Masters, including a $1,000 bet at 9-1. CG Technology vice president of risk Jason Simbal said 60 percent of the money that has been bet on Woods for the Masters has been placed in the past week.
As of Monday, Woods was CG Technology’s largest liability in the book’s Masters odds.
“We’re going to make a lot of money on the Masters or we’re going to lose a lot of money,” Simbal said.