Tiger Woods costs sports books millions on last hole of Ryder Cup
The U.S. had already lost the Ryder Cup before Woods began his head-to-head play against Francesco Molinari on the final hole Sunday. Europe was up 14-13 after Martin Kaymer defeated Steve Stricker a hole earlier. Had Woods won 18 to win his match against Molinari, he would have given the U.S. a point to tie the Ryder Cup 14-14. Because ties mean the country that won the previous Ryder Cup retains the title, the U.S. had already lost. Woods knew that and probably didn’t think much of it when he missed a putt on 18 and conceded a four-foot putt and the hole to Molinari.
Instead of Tiger winning his match to tie the Ryder Cup, he and Molinari halved giving Europe the outright Ryder Cup win 14.5-13.5. That development cost sports books millions because it awarded money to those who bet on Europe to win, while hardly any bettors wager that there would be a tie.
Here’s the sports book breakdown according to Metro:
David Stevens, of Coral, admitted a 14-14 tie would have been the ‘ideal result’ for the company as few customers had bet on a draw. ‘It may only have been a putt of a few feet but for bookmakers it was massive,’ he said.
William Hill said the 4ft putt Woods missed before conceding cost it about £100,000 a foot, while Paddy Power suffered a swing of almost £800,000 – losing about £400,000 instead of making it.
The European comeback cost Betfred almost £500,000 and Ladbrokes more than £650,000, while Sky Bet said it lost more than £300,000 over the weekend.
Good to know there were people who felt worse after the debacle than fans who support the U.S. Entering Sunday, bettors could have wagered on Europe to win at 30:1 odds. That means savvy bettors (aka Norm MacDonald) cleaned up on Europe’s comeback.