Masters suffering without Tiger Woods

It seems that blossoming azaleas and Amen Corner aren't enough to keep the Masters from feeling the pain of Tiger Woods' absence. 

With the world's top-ranked golfer sidelined by back surgery, ticket prices have dropped on the secondary market and Las Vegas is taking fewer wagers.


Ticket broker Vivid Seats reports an 8% decline in overall prices since Woods announced his withdrawal from the tournament. has seen Thursday tickets fall from $1,200 apiece to $920 over the last two days.

"It's a signficant drop," said Cameron Popp, a StubHub spokesman. "I don't think there is any other athlete in the world who affects ticket prices like Tiger does."

Jeff Sherman, assistant manager at the Las Vegas Hotel's SuperBook, told that fewer bets usually coincide with a smaller television audience.

"There's so many people that say, 'I just want to root for Tiger,' and now they're not going to get the opportunity," Sherman was quoted as saying.

Woods underwent a microdiscectomy earlier this week to relieve nagging back pain. He was hoping to return to the PGA Tour by summer.

"It draws more people to the game when he plays, when he's in contention, when he's winning," Rory McIlroy said from the Shell Houston Open. "It creates a bigger buzz when he's around."