Tiger Woods essentially handed Europe Ryder Cup victory on Sunday night with his disinterested antics on the final hole – but not everyone in Europe was happy to see him concede so easily.
The bookmakers lost a fortune as Woods slid a three-footer past the cup then conceded the hole to surrender a half-point to Francesco Molinari and gift the Europeans the outright win 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.
“To be honest I didn’t really pay that much attention…after that all went down, my putt was useless. It was inconsequential. So I hit it too quick and gave him his putt and it was already over,” said Woods.
It was certainly not inconsequential from the bookmakers’ point of view, though, as they then had to pay out to everybody who backed Europe to win – while they would have made a killing if the match had finished in a draw.
Ladbrokes admitted Tiger’s actions cost them £650,000 while Coral took a hit for £400,000. Sky Bet were another company that lost big.
“No one bets on a tie. It cost us just over £650,000 last night on Tiger’s miss. Tiger is not a bookie’s friend this morning,” a Ladbrokes spokesperson told the Daily Mail.
A Sky Bet spokesperson added: “While it was impossible not to get caught up in such a fantastic victory, Woods’s miss resulted in us taking a really heavy beating.”
A Coral spokesperson said that the firm was heading for the ‘ideal result’ until the late ‘inconsequential’ drama.
“It was the biggest-betting Ryder Cup we’ve ever had. We took £1 million. During the first two days confidence was a bit shot. People didn’t really back Europe then.
“We were staring at the ideal result when Woods was at the final hole. Had it been a tie we would have kept everything we’d taken because no one backs a draw. But it was a £400,000 hit.”
source: UK Eurosport