Although he hasn't won a Major championship since the 2008 US Open, Tiger Woods has still retained his status as the biggest draw in golf over the last six years. Since first appearing in The Masters back in 1995 as a Low Amateur, Woods has not once missed the storied tournament. It was the first Major Woods won, back in 1997, as well as the Major he's won the most, four times. It is also the only Major that Woods has never missed since turning pro. But that will change this year, as Woods underwent back surgery earlier this week for a pinched nerve that will sideline him for four to five months.
Last year, Woods was playing some fantastic golf heading into The Masters. Ticket prices were up substantially from 2012 as a result of optimism that Woods would be competitive in pursuit of the 15th Major championship that has eluded him. While a four day badge for the event ran an average of $3,675 in 2012, that figure jumped massively to $9,267 last year for an increase of 152.16 percent. Four day badges may have experienced the largest price increase of any ticket option from 2012 to 2013, but prices were up across the board any which way you sliced it.
Even the Monday and Tuesday Practice Rounds, which averaged $308.33 and $476.50, respectively, in 2012, were up 70.74 percent and 50.87 percent to averages of $526.43 and $718.90. This year, those prices have taken a step back. Monday's Practice Round now carries an average of $401.54 while Tuesday checks in at $584.17, declines of 23.72 and 18.74 percent from last year. A four day badge for this year currently runs $4,477.00, down 51.69 percent from last year. However, these figures are still a bit above those of 2012.
As for the individual tournament days, ticket prices are down from both 2013 and 2012, with the exception of Sunday's final round. While tickets for Thursday's opening round jumped 43.30 percent from $1,740.67 in 2012 to $2,494.33 in 2013, tickets have declined 54.12 percent from last year to an average of $1,144.32 this year. That figure also reflects a decline of 0.93 percent since the announcement of Tiger's withdrawal. The declines from last year become less drastic as the week goes on however, with Friday having fallen 47.02 percent from last year to an average of $1,150.23, and Saturday down 45.97 percent to $1,107.12. While Friday is the only round to go up in price since Tiger's announcement, increasing by 1.57 percent since it was made, Saturday has declined 3.13 percent, the largest decline of any day.
For each of the past two years, Sunday's final round has been actually been the least expensive of any round, but this is partly due to last minute price declines as a result of Tiger being largely out of contention. Currently, tickets for Sunday this year are pricing at an average of $1,431.96, down just 20.93 percent from last year's final round price of $1,811.00. However, this is still good enough to be the second highest priced round behind the opening round, and the smallest price decrease of any Masters ticket from last year. In 2012, the final round carried an average price of $869.67, the only round available for an average under $1,000 in the past three years. Of course, Tiger was way out of contention that year en route to a 40th place finish. With Tiger unable to even take to the course this year, we could see some further declines in Masters ticket prices in the coming days.
For more information on tickets for this year's Masters tournament, visit the TiqIQ blog.