2021 PGA Championship First Round Leader Odds & Bets: Market Counting on Sergio Garcia
Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images. Pictured: Sergio Garcia.
Sergio Garcia has strung together some strong first-round performances in recent tournaments, and bettors are hoping he does it again at this week’s PGA Championship at Kiawah Island.
Garcia opened the Byron Nelson with a 7-under round, falling just short of Jordan Spieth and JJ Spaun at 9-under for the opening round leader. He held the first-round lead on his own at THE PLAYERS in March. With odds north of 60-1, he’s one of the biggest liabilities at BetMGM.
According to data released by BetMGM, Garcia has taken more bets to be the opening round leader than any other golfer with 4.5% of all bets, ahead of Spieth and Keegan Bradley, who are each receiving 2.8% of bets.
First-round leader bets are fun, single-round wagers that often give players with worse odds a better chance. Bettors only have to sweat one round rather than four, and it’s oftentimes easier for a lesser player to compete for 18 holes compared to a full 72.
Bettors tend to target those longer odds, which is why someone like Bradley (66-1) is popular.
It’s also a chance to grab the best players at better odds than full-tournament plays. For example, Spieth is attracting the second-most bets at 25-1. But his odds to win the entire tournament are closer to 16-1 depending on the book.
Garcia and Bradley are in the top-three for total dollars taken on first-round leader, but it’s Cam Smith with the largest handle so far. Smith has put together strong performances in majors, notably the Masters. It seems one bad round has derailed his chances in the past, but with odds around 50-1, bettors are firing away.
Rory McIlroy, the consensus favorite to win the whole tournament, is also the favorite to lead after Round 1. However, his odds are almost double (+2200) to lead after the first round than they are to win the entire thing.
Odds to be First Round Leader
Odds via DraftKings
|Golfer||Leader After R1|
|Si Woo Kim||9000|
|Harold Varner III||12500|
|Byeong Hun An||15000|
|Erik van Rooyen||15000|
|Daniel van Tonder||30000|