The Year Of The Longshot: Shane Lowry, Gary Woodland Make Betting History in 2019 Golf Major Season


Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

What an absolutely incredible year in the world of golf…

  • Tiger Woods won his first major tournament since the 2008 U.S. Open, taking down the 2019 Masters at 14-1 to open the season.
  • At the PGA Championship, Brooks Koepka won wire-to-wire at 10-1 odds to become the first player ever to hold back-to-back titles in two majors at the same time, having also won a second straight U.S. Open the year prior.
  • Time for the longshots. At the U.S. Open, Koepka was dethroned by Gary Woodland, who was 80-1 entering the tournament.
  • Finally, it was Shane Lowry at the British Open at Royal Portrush to round out the 2019 major season. Lowry won The Open at 80-1 odds…

Year of the Longshot

At the 2019 U.S. Open, Gary Woodland won at Pebble Beach as an 80-1 longshot, beating out Brooks Koepka down the second nine holes to win his first major.

Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Gary Woodland kisses with the championship trophy after winning the 2019 U.S. Open golf tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

On Sunday, Shane Lowry closed out the British Open at Royal Portrush as an 80-1 longshot to take home the Claret Jug.

The last player before Woodland and Lowry to win a major at higher than 50-1 odds according to Sports Odds History was Jimmy Walker at the 2016 PGA Championship at 125-1 odds.

Since 2012, here are the only four golfers to win a major at higher than 50-1 odds, with two coming this year…

It doesn’t happen often, but the last time two longshots with higher than 50-1 odds won a major championship in the same year was back in 2011, which was a dart throwers paradise.

That year opened with Charl Schwartzel winning the Masters at 100-1 odds, the biggest Masters longshot of the last decade. Then at the U.S. Open, Rory McIlroy won at 20-1 odds to capture his first major.

At The Open Championship, Northern Irishman, Darren Clarke, took home the Claret Jug at a whopping 150-1 odds, making him the second-biggest longshot to win the British Open since at least 1984 (Louis Oosthuizen at 200-1 odds in 2010).

Finally, at the PGA Championship, American rookie Keegan Bradley won his first major championship in his first major start, beating Jason Dufner in a three-hole playoff. Bradley was also 150-1 pre-tournament and is the biggest longshot to win the PGA since 1985.

Back On Top

Nothing quite describes the gap between major victories for Tiger Woods quite like the event that occurred just a day after Woods’ last major win before the 2019 Masters.

On June 17, 2008, the original “Big 3,” Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, won the title for the Boston Celtics in six games over Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and the Lakers.

3,954 days later, Tiger Woods would win his next major at Augusta — and it was a major unlike any other for Tiger…

  • Woods won his first major when trailing after 54 holes.
  • Woods played in final group of a major for the first time since the 2009 PGA Championship.
  • Woods won the Masters at 14-1 odds, the highest odds of any of his 15 major victories.

American (…Almost) Dream

Tiger won the Masters, Koepka won the PGA, Gary won the U.S….Americans were dominating the major golf season heading into Royal Portrush.

Enter Shane Lowry.

Lowry won The Open Championship to break the American streak in 2019 and for the third straight year and fourth time in the last five years, Americans won 3 of 4 majors.

The last time each of the four major tournaments were all won by an American golfer was all the way back in 1982, when Craig Stadler won the Masters, Raymond Floyd won the PGA and Tom Watson won both the U.S. and British Open.

The last time four different American golfers won each of the four major tournaments? All the way back in 1976…

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