PaddyPower Early Payout Call On Tiger Woods Winning PGA Championship

Paddy Power Early Payout Tiger Woods

To be fair to PaddyPower, it did look like Tiger Woods had the trophy bagged up.

The PGA Championship of 2009 was the 91st event of its’ kind, and Tiger had won four of them. He had been in the lead since the start of the competition in this year too, but there was someone else waiting to ruin his track record.

Yang Yong-eun was ranked 110th in the world before the competition, and while Paddy Power had him at 150/1 some bookies weren’t even offering odds on him, yet he was about to cause the biggest golfing shock of the year.

The way Yang caught Tiger Woods and beat him was fairly stealthy too, which is probably why Paddy Power felt safe enough to pay out early on the golf legend.

With a 4 point lead after the second round, Paddy Power paid out all bets on Woods winning the competition to the tune of €1.42 million (£1.25 million), but they would be left nursing their bank account a few days later.

A spokesman for the Irish bookie said:

“It takes a special kind of dimwit to turn what should have been our best-ever golf result into our worst”

It’s hard to disagree with that.

How Yang Yong-eun Beat Tiger Woods

Yang Yong-eun

Yang Yong-eun

In the first round of the competition, Tiger finished 5 under par with a 1 point lead over the defending champion Pádraig Harrington in second place.

Yang Yong-eun didn’t even make the top 16 at this point, so no one was paying any attention to him.

He climbed into the top 12 after round two though, tied in 9th and one under to Tiger Woods’ 7 under par. Woods now had a 4 point lead over everyone tied in 2nd place, his largest after the second round in any major competition since 2005, and he did it in tough weather conditions too.

This is when PaddyPower made the call and paid out early, but round 3 held a few surprises.

Woods played it safe but his score of 71 allowed Harrington to close the gap with a score of 69, and someone else had shot up the table too. Yang played an absolute blinder in round 3, achieving the best score of the round with a 67, and leaving him tied with Harrington in 2nd place.

That 67 was the best score of any round in the whole competition, only equalled by Tiger himself in round 1, and it meant that Woods went into round 4 with just a 2 point lead.

Pádraig Harrington had a calamitous round scoring 78 and falling way down the table, and Tiger Woods only achieved a score of 75 thanks to some issues with his putting, which left the gate open for Yang, who grasped the opportunity with both hands.

An eagle on the 14th hole gave him the lead, and he kept it until the end, even finishing with a birdie for a final score of 280, 8 under par, compared to Tiger Wood’s 283 and 5 under.

Yang became the first Asian-born player to win a men’s major trophy (Asian-born not Asian-descent), and it also marked the first and only major win of his career. Probably the coolest thing though, was the nickname he earned himself: The Tiger Killer.

Perhaps we should call him the Paddy Power killer too, since he ended up costing them so much money.