PGA Championship Odds (As of August 1):
Dustin Johnson: 10.00
Rory McIlroy: 13.00
Jordan Spieth: 15.00
Justin Thomas: 18.00
Tiger Woods: 18.00
Rickie Fowler: 20.00
It is the epic ending to a comeback story that those in the golf world - correction: the entire sports world - continue to wait for.
Can Tiger Woods win a major in 2018?
With three down, one remains on the schedule. One more opportunity for the 42-year-old Woods to win a major this year following his comeback from major back surgery.
The hype was palpable for his return to The Masters at Augusta National in April. The results didn't go his way. Woods finished T32, after beginning the tournament as a co-favourite to win outright alongside Rory McIlroy.
He missed the cut at the US Open. (To be fair, many of the best golfers in the world looked foolish at some point during that competition.) At that point, you could've certainly made the argument that despite the excitement and some decent results earlier in the season, it was always way too lofty an expectation that Woods could: a) contend for a major this year; and b) win a major this year.
Perhaps his performance last month during the Open Championship at Carnoustie provides hope for some that winning a major is once again in Woods' future, maybe even as soon as next weekend at Bellerive Country Club.
Golf Betting Breakdown:
Woods fired three rounds of 71 at Carnoustie, with a Saturday 66 mixed into his tournament. On Sunday, wearing that familiar red, Woods was atop the leaderboard on the back bine before his round temporarily went sideways and subsequently allowed Francesco Molinari to claim the Claret Jug.
A few mistakes were essentially costly for Woods. Still, outside of his four top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour this season, that is the most promising sign that he could be on the cusp of something spectacular.
With that in mind, Woods isn't the favourite at the PGA Championship (Aug. 9-12).
As of Wednesday, Dustin Johnson, the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world who missed the cut at the Open Championship but then regrouped to win the Canadian Open the following week, was the favourite for next week's major.
Johnson's odds to win the final major of the year currently stand at 10.00 at PlayNow.com, followed by McIlroy at 13.00, Jordan Spieth at 15.00 and Justin Thomas and Woods at 18.00. Again, as of Wednesday, 63.6 per cent of the money was on Johnson to win, making him by far the clear betting favourite. The second highest amount of money wagered on the PGA Championship outright market was on Woods at 10.1 per cent.
That is eight days out from the first round at Bellerive, and there is time for the gap in the betting percentages to close before Woods and Johnson tee off. Another strong showing for Woods this weekend at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational would certainly be influential, as well.
Woods has won this event eight times throughout his career, and he had the third best odds to win (12.00 at PlayNow.com) entering this year's tournament. As of Wednesday, about 27.5 per cent of the money was on Woods to win at Firestone Country Club, followed closely by Johnson at 25.5 per cent.
At least for this week, the wait for Woods to win a major will continue. Maybe it ends at Bellerive, which will prompt countless headlines about one of the epic comebacks in sport. Maybe it doesn't, and persists into next year or the year after that, and so on.
Even if the wait for Woods to win a major continues, a strong showing over the next few weeks could get him a step closer to a spot on Team USA for the Ryder Cup at the end of September. To say the least, that would've been quite the long shot nine months ago - you know, when he was ranked outside of the top 650 in the world.