Some people stillbelieve Tiger Woods can win the Masters.
In fact, some have put their money where their beliefs are, betting on him to win in 2017, when, it turns out, he won't even be playing.
According to ESPN, Las Vegas' Westgate SuperBook has since August taken more than 100 bets on Woods to win the 2017 Masters. In the same report, ESPN said that out of the 108 golfers offered at sportsbook operator CG Technology, Woods was among the top 20 in Masters bets.
"We took a $1,000 wager on him at 50-1, after he showed some signs of life in the tournament in December down in the Bahamas," SuperBook assistant manager Jeff Sherman said. "Prior to him withdrawing, he was our largest liability on the [Masters] betting board. He was top five in ticket count at the time, too."
The good news for wagerers:The WestgateSuperBook, unlike most betting establishments, requires a golfer to tee off to start a tournament before bets on him become official.
"We've already started the refund process," Sherman said, "but still have over 100 that are outstanding on him."
Woods' bad back has prevented him from playing a competitive round since pulling out of a European Tour event in early February in Dubai. Still, he didn't officially withdraw at Augusta until Friday.
Nevertheless, it took a leap of faith to put money on him. He last won in August 2013 and his most recent major victory was the 2008 U.S. Open. His last Masters win? All the way back in 2005.
In short, the wagers were perhaps a bit of wishful thinking, fans breaking a cardinal rule by betting with their hearts not their heads.
"People still want to back him, hoping to catch lightning in a bottle," Sherman said. "They just disregard what he's done the last few years, and they'll support him. People always like to bet a little to win a lot; and to be able to do that on a name like Tiger Woods, they're always going to do that."