Steve Flynn, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Tommy Fleetwood
- Tiger Woods, Tommy Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka are among the most popular bets for the 2018 British Open.
- According to the Westgate's Jeff Sherman, bettors have also taken to longshots Stewart Cink, Matthew Southgate and Russell Knox.
- The book also has some liability on Tony Finau and 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed.
The British Open gets underway early Thursday morning (1:35 a.m., ET) at Carnoustie Golf Links on Scotland’s East Coast. With the tournament just hours away, we spoke with Jeff Sherman of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook to get a feel for the Action.
The Most Popular Bets
It’s no surprise to see Englishman Tommy Fleetwood among the trendiest bets at Carnoustie. The 27-year-old Merseysider owns the course record (63) and captivated fans and punters alike by shooting a 63 in the final round of the U.S. Open.
“Fleetwood has kind of dominated everything in terms of ticket count and money wagered,” Sherman said. “A lot of it has to do with the 63 he shot at the U.S. Open and the fact that he’s from England so he’s familiar with the landscape and the style of golf. I opened him at 20-1 and thought that was low but we moved him down to 18-1.”
Not surprisingly, Tiger Woods has also attracted plenty of tickets. Considering how the course plays, driving may not play a huge role in determining the winner, so Woods could be in contention over the weekend.
Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Bryson DeChambeau (left) and Tiger Woods
“Bettors always come up to the window to bet on Tiger, so it’s no surprise,” Sherman said. “I opened him at 25-1, and we took a lot of action, so we moved him down to 20-1, and nobody seemed to be interested in that number so we bumped him back to 25-1.”
Sherman also noted that a low number (20-1) hasn’t swayed bettors from getting a piece of U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka: “We opened Koepka low, too, knowing we’d take a lot of bets on him, but the action has been fluid with him. He’s got a good history at majors and obviously won the U.S. Open, so we’ve got some liability on him.”
Longshots on the Move
Considering how big their fields usually are, golf majors often provide decent longshot value, and speculators are keen on a few players down the board, according to Sherman.
“Russell Knox has been the biggest mover on the board,” he said. “We opened him at 250-1 and his number has seen a drastic reduction since then to 60-1. It’s not that surprising because he won the Irish Open and he’s Scottish, so he’s probably got a shot.”
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Russell Knox
Two other longshots who have seen their prices slashed are Matthew Southgate and 2009 British Open Champion Stewart Cink.
“We opened Southgate at 300-1 but he’s played well and is from England so he’s attracting some tickets and has moved to 125-1,” Sherman said. “We’ve also had to slash the price on Stewart Cink. We opened him at 300-1 then had him at 250-1 but he got bet down to 150-1.”
The Biggest Liability
Outside of the usual suspects such as Woods and Koepka, there are two other players bookmakers are hoping will struggle on the links course.
“In terms of liability we’ve got a bunch on guys like Tiger, Fleetwood and Koepka but also with Patrick Reed and Tony Finau,” Sherman said. “Finau always seems to get a lot of bets at the big tournaments because of his skillset and the fact that he’s usually around 60 or 80-1.”
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