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Woods just 8-5 to win Grand Slam

After winning the Masters Tournament and the U.S. Open, Tiger Woods is an 8-5 favorite to complete the first calendar-year sweep of golf's four major professional tournaments.

Those are the odds of Woods winning next month's Open and the PGA Championship in August, according to the Stardust Race and Sports Book in Las Vegas. That means a bettor has to wager $500 to win $800.

``We've never seen odds like this before for him winning two of two,'' said Joe Lupo, Stardust's sports book manager.

Bobby Jones won the sport's four biggest events in 1930, but two of them were amateur tournaments at the time. No golfer has won all four major professional tournaments in the same year since the Masters started in 1934, although Woods held all four titles at once after winning last year's Masters.

Stardust lists Woods as a 1-2 favorite to win the Open in East Lothian, Scotland, or the PGA Championship in Chaska, Minnesota. Odds that he won't win either event are 4-1.

Woods, who's won seven of golf's past 11 major tournaments, is enough of a threat to win the final two majors this year that at least one casino isn't taking bets on his Grand Slam chances.

Odds are set with the goal of getting an equal number of bettors to wager on each side. That way, the casino is guaranteed to make money because it collects a fee on every bet.

``It's a one-way bet. If we put it up there, people are just going to bet `yes,''' said Jeff Sherman, sports book manager at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. ``It stands to be a big money loser.''

Woods, 26, is changing the way oddsmakers set betting lines on golf.

Before he joined the U.S. PGA Tour six years ago, casinos rarely set odds lower than 5-to-1 on a player to win a tournament, said Pete Korner of Las Vegas Sports Consultants, a firm that advises sports books on where to set their lines. Now, Woods is sometimes an even-money favorite.

``We've never had a player dominate so quickly,'' Korner said. ``You make Woods an even-money favorite, set high odds on other players and hope they're attractive enough.''

For instance, Woods was a 9-5 favorite to win this year's U.S. Open before the tournament started. Phil Mickelson, who ended up finishing second on Sunday, was listed at 8-1.

Before Woods won the Masters in April, his odds of winning all four majors this year were 150-to-1 at British bookmaker Ladbrokes.

Although Ladbrokes spokesman Sean Boyce declined to say how much money was bet on the proposition, he said ``it's going to be bloody expensive,'' for the bookmaker if Woods pulls off the feat.


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