Masters Ticket Prices Highest Since Tiger Woods' Debut

Lynne Sladky/AP Photo

With round one of the Masters Golf Tournament underway, tickets for the famous game in Augusta, Ga., are still being sold online today. Though ABC News' Darren Rovell reports prices on web sites like StubHub have dropped to $3,000 to $4,000 today, some badges were being sold earlier this week for as high as $10,000.

The high ticket prices, experts say, are linked to Tiger Woods, who is making his run for a fifth Masters title. Woods finished playing today with a 2 under par 70, in striking distance of the lead.

The prices people are willing to pay this year are nearly unprecedented, only seen the first time Woods made his appearance as a professional in the late 90's, Kenneth Wisnefski a branding expert, CEO and founder of WebiMax, told ABC News.

"It's 100 percent related to Tiger," said Wisnefski. "When he played well years ago, it was at a different level than people have ever seen. They were able to see that level of brilliance up close and people who didn't go thought 'Wow, we missed the opportunity to see it up close."

Wisnefski said people are jumping at the chance to see Woods be great again.

"That's why it's a huge ticket and why people are so buzzed about it," Wisnefski said.

The high ticket prices may also be because corporate spending is returning in a better economy, Robert Tuchman, president of sports marketing company Goviva told ABC News. But Woods is clearly the big draw.

"Tiger Woods is great for the business itself, from selling products on TV and even badge prices at the Masters, he has a direct link to the business itself. A lot of it has to do with people believing he can contend for another green jacket this year," Tuchman said.

Though some tickets are going for five-figure amounts, Rick Spehn, a Minnesota resident who frequents the Masters, says he would never pay tens of thousands to watch the tournament. Spehn just returned from watching the practice rounds of the Masters.

"I was out there two years ago and Tiger was just coming out of that mess. He's always had the highest draw, and it was that way again this year," Spehn said. "The real star is the golf course itself. They could put 20 third graders out there, I'd go see it."

Some don't go just for Woods, Wisnefski says, but the loyalty to see Woods play is all in his branding.

"It's interesting to see a sports figure rehabilitate their brand and do something even companies can't do. When looking at a sports figure, good play will trump anything," Wisnefski said.