The Star Tribune reports that Irish bookmaking firm Paddy Power was so certain Tiger Woods would win the PGA Championship that it paid out $2.1 million in winnings to betters on the American golfing ace before he teed off in Saturday's third round.
Woods' four-shot lead prompted the bookie to try the strategy, but the winner – South Korea's Y.E. Yang, surprised them all in taking the title.
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"It takes a special kind of dimwit to turn what should have been our best-ever golf result into our worst,” the firm said in a news release Sunday night. "Paddy Power punters are obviously the big winners here and have made like bandits getting paid out on Tiger as a winner.”
Those who favored Yang made out even better. His pre-tournament odds with Paddy Power were 150-1, and he was 16-1 going into Sunday's final round. The little-known 37-year-old Korean player became the only Asian golfer to win a major by outduelling Tiger Woods in dramatic fashion.
Yang's 2-under-par 70 beat the ‘unbeatable' front-runner in the 91st PGA Championship on Sunday at Hazeltine National. Not since Jack Fleck beat Ben Hogan in the 1955 U.S. Open has a mere mortal chopped down a golf god the way Yong-Eun Yang did Tiger Woods. Yang's 8-under 280 beat Woods (75) by three shots.
Woods started this great day leading Yang and Padraig Harrington by two shots. And since he was 14-0 in majors and 36-1 overall with a 54-hole lead, it was assumed he would win his first major of the year, the 15th of his career and a record-tying fifth PGA Championship.
"This was just a bad day at the wrong time," Woods said. "That's the way it goes."
Yang entered the tournament as the 110th-ranked golfer in the world with one PGA Tour victory, this year's Honda Classic to his credit. Woods has 70, which ranks behind only Jack Nicklaus (73) and Sam Snead (82). And Woods had won at least one major each year since 2004.