How long has it been since Tiger Woods went into a major and wasn't the prohibitive favorite? Not an easy question to answer. I know, because after ESPN.com golf editor Kevin Maguire asked me that question about a month ago, I started quizzing experts on The Strip and offshore. And no one seems to be able to remember.
Jeff Sherman, a bookmaker at the Las Vegas Hilton who runs a website called golfodds.com, told me he didn't even have the research to find out. His best guess was that it would have to be before Tiger's first Masters win back in 1997. Jon Thompson, one of Bodog's bookmakers, said he and his guys had been asking the same question for the past couple of weeks, and they couldn't find any instances since that Masters 13 years ago, either.
Why the sudden interest? Because, come Thursday's U.S. Open, there's a good chance that Tiger's won't be the tail everyone is chasing.