Masters Notebook: “I’ll Take Tiger Woods for $1.2 Million”

Tiger Woods at the 2019 Masters


AUGUSTA, Georgia — Tiger Woods won’t be the only big winner if he finishes on top of the leaderboard at the Masters.

A bettor in Las Vegas will pocket nearly $1.2 million if Woods wins the Masters for the first time since 2005.

The unidentified gambler placed an $85,000 wager on Woods to win the Masters. The bet was made at 14-1 odds, meaning the bettor will walk away with $1,190,000 if Woods wins.

The bet made at the William Hill sports book chain represents the largest liability for an individual golf wager in the company’s U.S. history.

Rory McIlroy is the betting favorite for the Masters, listed as a 7-1 pick at William Hill. Dustin Johnson is at 10-1, followed by Woods and Justin Rose.

The longest odds in the field? Bettors can win $20,000 on a $10 bet if Viktor Hovland somehow wins the green jacket. Hovland, a Norwegian amateur who plays at Oklahoma State, is listed at 2,000-1.


The story of Brooks Koepka coming to the Masters as a kid and failing to get an autograph from Phil Mickelson in the parking lot at Augusta National has turned into a running joke. He first told Mickelson the story when they played a practice round together at the 2014 British Open.

“I was like, ‘Listen, man, you stiffed me, and I really didn’t like you for a long time,’” Koepka said, calling himself “probably the only kid Phil’s ever turned down.”

“And he told me years later,” Koepka added, “I shouldn’t have been in the parking lot, so fair enough.”

“Yeah, well, he shouldn’t have been there,” Mickelson confirmed, when asked about the episode. “I think I told him that, too.”

Not content to let the story die there, Koepka said he finally got Mickelson’s autograph, sending reporters back to Mickelson to find out if he had Koepka’s as well.

“A bunch,” Mickelson smirked. Asked as a follow-up whether the request was made in a parking lot, Lefty chuckled, “I did it in the appropriate location.”


The secondary ticket market for this year’s tournament is sizzling.

A one-day entry for the final practice round — with a face value of $75 — were being offered for $2,500 and up on StubHub and Vivid Seats. Rain, accompanied by occasional flashes of lightning, prompted Masters officials to cut practice sessions in half and may have contributed to driving up prices. Those who don’t want to buy them online often take their chances with scalpers.

Although Augusta National prohibits the resale of tickets, it’s not against state law. So scalpers remain a familiar site on Washington Road near the club during Masters week — provided they don’t conduct business closer than 2,700 feet of a venue.

“We have people that will push the boundaries from time to time,” said Capt. Scott Gay of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. “Typically, who we have the most problems with are just people being uneducated about the state law.”


Players who cave in the face of their drivers or whose shaft breaks against a tree trying to play a shot at the Masters can now replace the club.

The USGA and R&A provided a clarification to Rule 4.1b that allows for a local rule that allows players to replace a broken or significantly damaged club, except in cases of abuse.

That’s a change from the new Rules of Golf and it’s aimed primarily at the elite level of golf.

Under the new rules, players could still use damaged clubs for the rest of the round, but they couldn’t replace them.

The local rule defines “broken or significantly damaged” if the shaft breaks in pieces, splinters or is bent (but not when it is only dented); the club is visibly deformed, detached or loose from the shaft, or the grip is loose.

The governing bodies made it clear, however, that players can’t replace a club — primarily the driver — if there is a crack or a scratch.