Phil Mickelson’s Longshot PGA Championship Win Pays Off For Bettors

Phil Mickelson’s Longshot PGA Championship Win Pays Off For Bettors article feature image
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Jamie Squire/Getty Images. Pictured: Phil Mickelson.

On Wednesday night, a bettor fired up his DraftKings app and plunked down $1,000 on Phil Mickelson to win the PGA Championship.

History would say, it wasn’t that good of a bet.

Yet, that unidentified bettor, was sitting with $300,000 in his account come Sunday night as Mickelson topped Brooks Koepka and the field en route to another major championship.

Since Mickelson won the 2013 Open Championship, “Lefty” had only won twice. In his last 15 majors, he had missed the cut five times, including his last two PGA Championships.

And then there was the age factor. The last major won by someone even close to as old as Mickelson, who will turn 51 next month, was Julius Boros, who won the 1968 PGA Championship at 48. 

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Sports books showed no fear of Mickelson and paid for it on Sunday.

Most opened him at 200/1 and got very little action. At BetMGM, 31 golfers had more tickets than him to win it all as he teed off on Thursday morning. Thirty-three golfers had more total money on them. 

But given that Mickelson held it together, bettors kept betting him. By Sunday morning, 4.3 percent of the total bets BetMGM had seen were on Mickelson, the sixth most. The handle? 6.5 percent. Only Koepka had seen more (9 percent).

BetMGM took $150 on Mickelson to win $30,000 at 200-1 odds.

PointsBet’s biggest bet on Mickelson was a $250 pre-tournament wager that won $37,500 and a $5,000 live bet that was made right after Koepka birdied the first hole on Sunday and Mickelson bogeyed. That bet paid out $16,000.

FanDuel took a $12,500 bet today at the Meadowlands in New Jersey that paid out $50,000. They had already taken a $100 bet on Wednesday that paid $28,000.

At the start of the tournament, the Superbook in Las Vegas only took 21 bets on Mickelson, the largest an $18 bet and a $25 bet. The $18 bet turned into $4,500. The $25 bet was worth $3,750.

Superbooks oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said Friday afternoon the book would do very well with a Mickelson win, but enough came in on him over the next two days to make the sportsbook break even on all the money they took on outrights with the Mickelson victory. 

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Jack Leonard, a 24 year old from Chadds Ford, Penn., got a call from his father on Wednesday.

“I think we’re going to put $100 on Phil,” he said.

The father and son cashed their FanDuel bet for $28,000 on Sunday evening, having not hedged in any manor.

“We were talking to PropSwap,” the younger Leonard told The Action Network. “But after Saturday, it was only $7,000 and we thought about it more from the standpoint that we were in for $100.”

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