Tiger Woods looked like he was walking into the weekend at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California, on Friday, but then he bogeyed three of his final four holes.
After he completed his second round, Woods was at 1-over, behind the cut line of what was then even. To make matters worse, play was suspended on Friday, so he had to wait a bit longer to learn his fate.
However, the cut line moved back a stroke, and Woods was right on the line, putting him into contention for the weekend.
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The Genesis Invitational is Woods’ first tournament since the Open Championship in July, an event where he missed the cut.
It was an up-and-down round for Woods, who struck the ball well but wasn’t great in the short game.
“I did not putt well today, I blocked a lot of putts early, and this is probably the highest score I could have shot today,” Woods said after his round. “Probably should have shot probably five or six better than this, easily. Just didn’t make the putts early and the middle part of the round when I had those opportunities. And they weren’t very hard putts, I just hit bad putts and obviously had a very bad finish, too.”
Yet, he prevailed, and plenty of bettors are really happy – DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said that “98% of bets” on the sportsbook were placed on Woods to make the cut.
“It amazes me — Tiger will never go out of style,” Robins said on Fox Business. “Now, we did price it at +150 — sorry, Tiger — so I think it seems attractive to a lot of people.”
Some states even had it boosted to +200 on the site. (A $100 bet would win $200.) Of course, if you can get plus-odds at maybe the greatest golfer of all time to simply make it to the weekend, it definitely is hard not to jump.
Before the Genesis, Woods last played at the Open Championship at St. Andrews, where he did miss the cut. But if you know how Tiger operates, making the cut is hardly a success.
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“Making a cut’s a great thing. If I enter the event, it’s always to get a W,” Woods said Tuesday. “There will come a point in time where my body will not allow me to do that anymore, and that’s probably sooner rather than later. But wrapping my head around that transition and being an ambassador role and just playing and just trying to be out here with the guys? No, that’s just not in my DNA.”
Robins added that there are several other bets surrounding Tiger, perhaps to win or finish in certain positions, “but you just don’t often see almost 100% of bets on one side of anything, so it’s just a testament to the popularity of Tiger.”
Woods was paired up with Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy for the first two rounds. The 15-time major champion closed out his first round with three consecutive birdies to finish with a two-under 69.
However, despite the success on the course, he caught some flack in the first round after handing a tampon to Thomas after outdriving him.
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“It was supposed to be a funny game, but obviously it hasn’t turned out that way,” Woods said. “If I offend anybody, it was not the case. It was just friends having fun.
“If I offend anybody in any way, shape, or form, I’m sorry. It was not intended to be that way. We play pranks on one another all the time. Virally, I think this did not come across that way, but between us, it’s different.”
Max Homa leads the pack at -10.