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The Tiger Woods Effect: Masters ticket prices soar in anticipation of superstar’s return to Augusta

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Woods’ resurgence not only has the four-time Masters winner the favorite to earn a fifth green jacket next week, but his scheduled start at Augusta for the first time since 2015 has sent ticket prices surging.

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The Masters - Final Round Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

If you wish to bear first-hand witness to Tiger Woods making potentially the “greatest comeback in sports, let alone golf” by winning next week’s Masters (per CBS Sports’ Nick Faldo on a Wednesday conference call), you’re going to have to pay through the nose for the privilege.

Woods’ impressive comeback from a fourth back surgery last April has casual golf fans, gamblers, six-time major champion Faldo, and legendary sports broadcaster Jim Nantz giddy with anticipation of Woods’ start at next week’s Masters. And it has sent prices for tickets (or badges, in Augusta parlance) in the secondary market skyrocketing in advance of his return to the Masters for the first time since 2015.

Woods’ resurgence — including a T2 and T5 in five events this year — has made this year’s contest “probably the most anticipated Masters that any of us have seen in our lifetime,” Nantz, the mellifluous voice of the tournament for the past three decades-plus said during the CBS teleconference.

Given that, it’s small wonder ticket prices for the men’s first major of the season are sky-high and bound to soar even higher. On Thursday and Friday — when Woods is guaranteed to play, barring unforeseen setbacks — prices are the highest, with a badge for the opening round costing a patron an average of $3,654, which is up from last year’s average price of $2,061, according to A Friday badge is going for an average of $2,494 — some $629 more than last year.


“As you can see, the ‘Tiger Effect’ is in full force this year with 2018 average listing prices [for Thursday’s opening round] almost $1,600 higher than 2017 [when] Tiger did not compete,” a TickPick spokesperson told SB Nation via e-mail on Wednesday.

The “Tiger Effect” in 2018 is even greater than three years ago, when Woods last teed it up at the Masters. Even accounting for inflation, that’s a healthy increase from Thursday’s $1,724 average ticket price in 2015 to this year’s average price.

Ticket prices at start at $9,450 for a week-long badge, while, naturally, practice rounds are more affordable for those who can’t shell out thousands for the actual tournament. A badge for Monday’s practice round starts at $424 at Stubhub, with the Wednesday practice round (including the Par-3 Contest) starting at $774.

The sky would appear to be the limit for Saturday ticket prices should Woods make it to the weekend, and you may have to take out a second mortgage if the winner of four Masters tournaments is in contention for a fifth on Sunday, so plan accordingly.

Oh, and if you’re a patron with a badge and thinking about making a few extra bucks — think again. The green jackets very much frown upon such ticket trafficking.