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19th Hole

Talking Tiger, Rory prop bets and golf gambling in general with BetOnline’s Sportsbook Brand Manager

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With big wins for Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy during the Asian swing along with the PGA Tour’s announcement that on-site gambling will be rolled out at Tour events from 2020, it’s as good a time as any to talk golf gambling. This week, we got the chance to speak to BetOnline.ag’s Sportsbook Brand Manager, Dave Mason, to discuss a range of Woods and McIlroy prop bets for 2020 and more.

BetOnline.ag is an online betting platform with a ‘focus on the player’ approach, who offer live lines for all major sporting events, including NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, Golf, Soccer, Tennis, Rugby and more.

Check out our conversation below.

With the Presidents Cup captain picks coming up this week, you’ve priced Tiger Woods up as a very warm 1/5 (at the time of speaking) favorite to choose himself. How difficult a market is that to price up, and how big of an effect did Woods’ recent Zozo Championship win have on the market?

Dave: The Zozo victory certainly allowed us to increase the juice on the captain’s pick price. But he was already a decent favorite for the pick when we offered these odds a few months back. Tiger is still one of the most confident athletes on the planet, and I’d be shocked if he didn’t put himself on the team. Even in what feels like the twilight of his career, he’s just too darn competitive not to be out there.

Another of your Tiger prop bets is his major wins in 2020. You currently have him at 1/8 to win none and 4/1 to win one or more – do you expect to take a lot of action on that 4/1 considering his excellent history at both of next year’s opening major venues?

Dave: Yeah, every year we take the most action on ONE Major. So far, it is the most popular option and will definitely be the highest bet count come early April. Traditionally we are just about always exposed on each of the options besides ZERO. We expect that to be even more exposed than usual in 2020 due to Tiger finally winning a major last year and golfing at a competitive level again.

Staying with Tiger, there’s a commonly held belief amongst golf gamblers that because of his popularity, he’s often underpriced. Is there much truth behind that assessment?

Dave: Yeah – definitely. He is always one of the more popular bets and we just about always have a healthy liability on him. So from a pure risk management point of view, we and (and the industry as a whole for that matter), keep Tiger’s odds shorter than we should. We do try to always offer the most competitive price week of the event however.

You have the same major prop bet market available for Rory McIlroy (4/11 no wins vs 2/1 one or more). Considering his five-year drought at majors, how tricky is it to gauge his correct number for the four slams and how popular will he be amongst punters?

Dave: McIlory is a tricky one to handicap. He is arguably as talented as anyone on the tour but has come up short in recent years. When the Masters tees-off it will be exactly five years since his last major. He is still one of the more popular golfers to bet from the public standpoint; however, the action on him is nothing like it was five or so years ago. He has been losing popularity from the punters a bit every year.

Who do you expect to take up the bulk of your action next year at the majors between Woods, McIlroy and Koepka?

Dave: Kopeka is definitely #1 now. Tiger is definitely #2. McIlroy a distant third. Of course, that could all change if one guy goes on a tear. Just looking at the early Masters bet count, Koepka is by far the most popular bet. Tiger is second. Then DJ and Xander. Rory is fifth.

Besides the outright market, what is the most popular market amongst golf gamblers at BetOnline.ag?

Dave: We have a ton of ways to bet golf. Top-10 is always popular along with a long list of props for the bigger events. Match-ups definitely get the most action; especially for the big name guys.

And finally, with the recent news that the PGA Tour is to have on-site gambling at events next year, how big (if any) a spike in the popularity of golf gambling do you think we could be looking at over the coming years?

Dave: With Tiger’s resurgence and Koepka doing what he is doing, there has already been a huge spike in golf betting. And now with sports betting being promoted everywhere – including the PGA events like you mentioned – we expect even an extra push. That’s what we are seeing in other sports with everyone talking betting odds now. We expect that to continue with golf as well in 2020.

You can check out all of BetOnline.ag’s golf prop bets here. You can also keep up to date with them on Twitter, Instagram, and you can follow Dave Mason on Twitter here.

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. doug

    Nov 7, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    On-line gambling is a cancer that will slowly but inevitably corrupt all sports.
    Too much money in that pot means way too much temptation for some.

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (11.19.19)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Sweet looking Las Vegas headcover showcased by Ryan Helin.

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When in Vegas ????????

A post shared by Ryan Helin (@skinnygolfguy) on

Callaway Mack Daddy PM Grind wedges with a rushed copper finish and a bullet insert from The Golf Garage.

Haywood Golf beginning their Black Friday sale early.

New creation from MannKrafted.

Dropping this Thursday from Sugar Skull Golf.

Wai Naing showing off his Lamb “Winner Winner” flat-stick as well as StoneCrest Golf Course.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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19th Hole

Brandon Matthews displays profound empathy to yelling fan who contributed to his playoff defeat on Latinoamérica Tour

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The Visa Open de Argentina played host to one of the most heartwarming golf moments of the year, set off after an unfortunate incident during the two-man playoff.

Brandon Matthews faced an 8-foot birdie attempt during the third playoff hole to keep his hopes alive at the Latinoamérica event in Buenos Aires, but missed the putt after hearing a scream during his stroke – knowing immediately he had missed the attempt.

An understandably visibly frustrated and shocked Matthews looked around in the direction of where the noise came from, while victor Ricardo Celia was drenched in water having clinched his spot at the 2020 Open Championship.

Speaking to GolfChannel, Matthews said

“I thought someone had done it intentionally. I was frustrated. Really, I was in shock that that just happened.”

Soon after the incident, Claudio Rivas, PGA Tour Latinoamérica’s tournament administration manager, apologized to Matthews and explained to the 25-year-old that the fan who had screamed was a middle-aged man with Down Syndrome.

Matthews, whose mother worked to manage group homes and his best friend had a sister who also had Down Syndrome, then immediately wanted to meet the fan, where Matthews then displayed inspiring empathy towards him.

“I gave him a hug and I asked him, ‘Hey, are you doing OK? Are you having fun?’ I just wanted to make sure he was enjoying himself, that he had no hard feelings, that he didn’t feel bad about what happened.

“I didn’t want to anyone to be mad at him. I didn’t want him to be mad at himself. I wanted to make sure he knew that I wasn’t mad. That’s all I wanted to do.”

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Brandon Matthews ???????? falló un putt que le habría dado la posibilidad de seguir luchando un intenso play-off con @PipoCelia por el ????del #VisaOpenbyMacro . ¿La razón de su fallo? Un señor con Síndrome de Down hizo un sonido involuntario en el momento menos oportuno. En un acto de caballero, Matthews se acercó, le pidió disculpas por su inmediata reacción, le firmó un guante y le regaló una pelota. On the third playoff hole of the VISA Open de Argentina on Sunday, a mentally disabled fan moved and talked right as @brandonmatthewsgolf was about to make his stroke on an eight-foot birdie putt that would have extended the playoff. Matthews missed the putt and lost the playoff to Ricardo Celia ????????. In a #classact Matthews went over and signed a glove and a ball for this fan. • ???? @martinbachiller. #Volvo #Hilton #GoVacaciones

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Matthews also signed a glove for the man, and though his playoff defeat means potentially missing out in a spot in next year’s Open Championship, the American has secured full Latinoamérica status for 2020.

For Matthews, however, this was a moment more important than the game itself.

“Some things are bigger than golf, and this was one of them.”

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19th Hole

How two PGA Tour pros’ initial “Call of Duty” relationship with a gamer came full circle at last week’s Mayakoba Classic

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A special (and very modern) relationship between professional golfers and a 22-year-old college student from Mexico connected in video games came full circle last week at the Mayakoba Classic, as the men met in person for the first time.

As PGA Tour’s Cameron Morfit first reported, Harold Varner III and Carlos Ortiz are the two golfers in question, who first started playing the game “Call of Duty” with Arturo earlier this year.

Initially, Varner joined the network game, where gamers play in squads of four, alongside childhood friend and agent Preston Lyon, and Jake Buchanan, a professional baseball player and another friend.

In need of a fourth player, the 22-year-old college student Arturo happened to enter the game. While Varner and Lyon were on the brink of exiting due to Buchanan losing his connection, they happened to stay when they soon realized that Arturo was, well, much better than them at the game.

The men began to play regularly, and Ortiz soon joined in on the fun. With himself and Varner becoming closer to the student (playing and talking for upto five hours a day), they sensed Arturo’s financial difficulties and sent their new friend new gaming equipment as a gift.

Their relationship strengthened after Arturo’s father suffered a heart attack where he then spent five days in intensive care before dying. An error on the death certificate, which had his relationship status listed as single, led to Arturo’s mother being unable to access much-needed pension money.

Needing money, Arturo asked Lyon for permission to sell the gaming equipment he had been sent in order to fund the funeral costs. On hearing the news, Lyon instantly sent $800 to the college student despite having never met in person.

Speaking to the PGA Tour, Lyon said

“It became the thing to do right now; who cares if we’ve never seen him? That’s the way Harold is; it’s easy to do things like this and impact people. That’s how we grew up. It became a little bit bigger than ourselves; bigger than a video game. It circled back to humanity.”

The relationship circled back to the Mayakoba Golf Classic last week, where Varner and Ortiz met Arturo for the first time in person and hugged on the practice green. Arturo then caddied for Varner during Wednesday’s pro-am, and the golfer hosted the student for the rest of the week.

“It’s hard to believe this. Because from one match playing with Harold, I am here. I’m a guy who was playing ‘Call of Duty.’ Now I’m here. I love Harold.” Arturo on meeting Varner.

Varner, Ortiz and Lyon continue to offer support to Arturo, paying his gaming fees and Ortiz working on securing his fellow Mexican a job once he graduates. For Varner, he hopes that giving back will inspire a cycle.

“What’s cool is whenever he makes it, he’s gonna help someone else.”

Check out the sweet moment the three friends met in the embedded video below courtesy of the PGA Tour.

 

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