Match bets between players also offer a potential profit that can far outstrip fixed-odds. A 72-hole match bet between two players can easily see a swing of more than 15 holes over a tournament. And of course it offers the huge advantage that your player does not have to come anywhere near winning the overall competition to be a big winner against his opponent in the match bet. The only exception to this is when a player (usually Tiger Woods, occasionally Ernie Els or Phil Mickelson if the competition in a tournament is particularly weak) is pitched against the rest of the field.
In such cases it is every player against the one favourite, usually with him receiving between two and five shots ‘start’. ‘Woods’ advantages are his mental toughness and the fact he puts the ball so far down the fairway that par fives are really par fours.
But developments in technology mean that all players are hitting the ball further and becoming more equal. I also wonder with Tiger if he still has the same desire after all he has achieved. I don’t think we will see him play as well as a couple of years ago when he ran away with the Masters.’