Tiger Woods’ concession costs UK bookmakers

The decision by 14-time Major winning Tiger Woods to concede the par putt of Italy’s Francesco Molinari has cost bookmakers a fortune.

According to newspaper reports, bookmakers were all set to scoop the pools if the Ryder Cup had of ended in a draw.

Tiger Woods Tiger Woods (Credit: Anthony Powter)

However to the surprise of many, Woods duplicated the gesture of fellow American Jack Nicklaus at the 1969 Ryder Cup, in ‘giving’ Molinari the putt and with it victory to the Europeans.

It left bookmakers in complete shock after seeing one of the biggest swings in golf betting history.

With a book heavily weighted in Europe’s favour, Britain’s biggest bookmakers were cheering home a USA victory (or the tie) but the turnaround was little less than spectacular with Tiger’s final putt costing William Hill alone over half a million pounds.

As Rory made his way to the course on Sunday morning the odds suggested it was a forlorn hope with the USA 1/12 for victory and Europe monster 8/1 outsiders. Europe even touched 14/1 during early play on Sunday.

“The tie would have been a perfect result, Tiger’s missed putt cost us about £100,000 a foot and resulted in probably the biggest swing in golf betting history. Team USA and the British bookies are both licking their wounds this morning,” said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.

The unlikely comeback cost British bookmakers Ladbrokes £650,000 and Coral £400,000, while other bookmakers also reported heavy losses. Two punters even bet £500,000 on Europe to win as the odds fell last night.

“No-one bets on a tie so the win cost us just over £650,000 last night on Tiger’s miss,” said a Ladbrokes spokesperson to the Daily Mail.

“If for this reason Tiger is not a bookie’s friend this morning.

“At 8:20pm, Europe were 33/1 to win and USA were 1/50. It was a nightmare result. The USA were heavily backed pre-tournament. We were so close. It was our most expensive one ever.”

The ’Miracle of Medinah’ as it will be forever remembered saw a stunning European comeback to retain the Ryder Cup, muscling their way from being 10-6 down overnight to overhaul Team USA to win 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.

A Sky Bet spokesman said: “While it was impossible not to get caught up in such a fantastic victory, Woods’ miss resulted in us taking a really heavy beating.”

At the 1969 Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale Nicklaus picked up Tony Jacklin’s ball marker for he and the Englishman to walk off the final green and in the final match with a half but with the USA team retained the trophy despite a 16 points all draw.

And Molinari revealed he considered giving Woods a half back on the 18th fairway but was put off by the decision at the sight of Olazabal.

“I was getting ready to hit the putt but then I had I thought about giving Tiger the halve on the fairway, but then the Captain was there, the Chairman was the there, they told me, it’s not the same, winning or halving,” said Molinari.

“I was told to get focused and do your best, and that’s what I did.”

“So I just tried to win the hole, to win the tournament, basically. I was getting ready to hit the putt. I wasn’t expecting him to give it to me.”