It took only one PGA Tour event in 2019 for a few widespread overreactions to materialize. “Bryson DeChambeau has discovered the secret to putting!” “Francesco Molinari’s 2018 was a fluke!” And “Xander Schauffele is going to win the Grand Slam!” Of course, all three are slight exaggerations, but you get the point.
Of course, there’s one place where overreacting is the best way to stay in business: a Vegas sportsbook. So not surprisingly, to cover themselves against an onslaught of Xander Schauffele bets in the wake of the 25-year-old’s latest PGA Tour win, Westgate Las Vegas Sportsbook dramatically altered Schauffele’s Masters odds. Schauffele moved from 50-to-1 odds to 30-to-1 odds to win at Augusta National in April.
That puts Schauffele on equal footing with defending Masters champ Patrick Reed, Tommy Fleetwood, and Hideki Matsuyama. Schauffele, whose Masters odds opened at 60-to-1 in August, finished T-50 in his Masters debut in 2018.
Meanwhile, Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and newly (re)minted World No. 1 Justin Rose remain co-favorites at 12-to-1 odds. Woods is a four-time green jacket winner, and Spieth won in 2015. McIlroy needs a Masters title to complete the career Grand Slam, and Rose is a two-time runner-up at Augusta.
Schauffele’s four PGA Tour titles in the past 18 months have moved him to No. 6 in the Official World Golf Ranking, but he still provides decent value. Of all the players in the current top 17, only reigning Open champion Francesco Molinari (40-1) has worse odds.
Again, for now. There will be a lot more adjusting in the next three months.