Europe rallied past the U.S. 14 ½ to 13 ½ in the 2012 Ryder Cup but everybody following Sunday’s festivities believed the final score was going to end 14-14.
That was before Tiger Woods final putt on the 18th hole.
Woods was beating Francesco Molinari 1-Up in the final pairing of the day as they headed to the green of the final hole. After hearing the celebration and knowing that the U.S. couldn’t win the Ryder Cup, Woods went through the motions on the 18th. He missed a three-foot par putt that would’ve given him the win on the hole and for the day. The U.S. would’ve won the full point and the final score would’ve been a 14-14 draw.
Instead, he missed and conceded a putt to Molinari, who then won the hole and halved the match.
Ladbrokes, one of the biggest books in the United Kingdom, was devastated by the missed putt. A spokesman said, “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. At 8:20 p.m., 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.”
Had the event ended in a draw, Ladbrokes and other outfits would’ve collected all wagers on either Europe or U.S. and only paid out draw wagers, which had generous odds as high as 12/1.
The action wasn’t as intense in the desert of Las Vegas.
Jeff Sherman, SuperBook Assistant Manager of the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (LVH) explained, “Going into the last day we had USA -800, Europe +800 and Draw +1500. We didn't write too much on the odds to win compared to what we did in the individual matchups. When I saw all the action coming in on American golfers, I raised the prices to USA -1000 and Europe to +1000, and still didn't attract many bettors on Europe or the draw."
"Despite the missed putt by Tiger, I thought he played well and it's too bad he got paired early on with Steve Stricker, who was awful. Phil Mickelson didn't show up, either. Overall, we did well with the final Ryder Cup decision."