How one bad round from Tiger changed Zozo odds

Will Gray
·2 min read



There's no cut at this week's Zozo Championship. But that's about the extent of the good news when it comes to defending champion Tiger Woods.

Woods has a long and decorated history with Sherwood Country Club, temporary site this week for an event he won a year ago in Japan. But that affinity was nowhere to be seen during a difficult opening round, where Woods struggled to a 4-over 76 that left him ahead of exactly one player in the 77-man field. He made just two birdies, one of which was an unexpected make from 87 feet, and finished last among the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green.

Woods declined to speak with media after the opening round, so there's little insight to glean as to what exactly went wrong in his opener. But the fallout is clear in the betting market, where the ever-popular Woods opened the week at +3000 to successfully defend his title, according to oddsmakers at PointsBet Sportsbook. Now that he's staring up at nearly the entire field, those odds have ballooned to +50000 which makes him tied for the highest number of any player.

Even with three rounds still to go, the odds are similarly long for a comeback of even a smaller magnitude. Woods was +300 for a top-10 finish in pre-tournament betting, but that number is now up to +2800. His odds for a top-20 finish, originally +130, are now +1400.

His Round 2 matchup with playing partners Xander Schauffele and Matthew Wolff also offers a glimpse of how the markets rate Woods, who is likely making his final start before defending his Masters title next month. Schauffele, who finished second last week in Las Vegas and opened with a 3-under 69, is the three-ball favorite at +117. Wolff is listed at +166 after matching Schauffele's opening-round score, while Woods is well behind as a clear underdog at +288.

Although Woods' odds ballooned after the opening round, other players saw their chances improve significantly. Overnight leader Sebastian Munoz went from +7000 to +1500 after an opening 64, while Justin Thomas is now the betting favorite after shooting 65 to trail by a shot. Thomas started the week at +1200 and is now listed at +400, followed by Tyrrell Hatton who sits alongside Thomas at 7 under. Hatton is now +650 to win, down from pre-tournament odds of +1800, while early-week favorite Jon Rahm is next at +1100 after an opening-round 68.

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