Where Did All Those Golf Bets Go At DraftKings Sportsbook In New Jersey?

The 148th Open Championship, aka the British Open, is in the books.

New Jersey sports betting customers who took a gamble on Shane Lowry made out quite well.

DraftKings Sportsbook customers who backed the Irishman were rewarded with a nice Sunday payout. Lowry opened the tournament as an 80-1 underdog.

One unidentified DraftKings app user placed a $150 wager on Lowry. The payout? $12,150.

We are talking about a golfer who has competed in just 11 tournaments this season and missed the cut five times.

In terms of other majors, he finished 28th at the US Open and eighth at the PGA Championship.

Golf betting gets major attention

But now that all four majors on the PGA Tour are in the books, DraftKings has the opportunity to evaluate the numbers to date. The Boston-based company is not sharing specific amounts wagered on the sport.

At the same time, Johnny Avello, director of sportsbook operations for DraftKings, used the adjectives “super,” “excellent,” and “extraordinary” in reference to the handle for golf betting.

“It really exceeded expectations,” he said.

Of course in the bigger NJ online sports betting realm, golf handle does not come close to Super Bowl betting or March Madness betting.

Avello notes betting action for a major golf tournament is comparable to a full day of Major League Baseball.

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Tiger Woods is the top golf betting attraction

Since there are no teams, the golf betting action is broken down by competitors. If we look at the season to date, it will not come as a surprise as to where most of the money is going: Tiger Woods.

DraftKings sports app compiled a list of the top golfers by handle for the 2019 tour season. Wagers could be made via the app or at the DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City. And Woods sits at the top.

The DraftKings list consists of 15 names, ranked highest to lowest in terms of handle. Specific amounts wagered on each golfer were not included in the report.

Here is the full list, which includes unique bets that have come in to date:

  1. Tiger Woods
  2. Brooks Koepka
  3. Dustin Johnson
  4. Rory McIlroy
  5. Rickie Fowler
  6. Jordan Speith
  7. Phil Mickelson
  8. Justin Rose
  9. Tommy Fleetwood
  10. Tony Finau
  11. Justin Thomas
  12. Xander Schauffele
  13. Francesco Molinari
  14. Jon Rahm
  15. Bryson Dechambeau

The handle includes The Masters, PGA Championship, US Open, and the British Open.

Seeing the Woods through the trees

Even with Sunday’s big six-stroke victory, Lowry remains a relative unknown among sports betting customers.

Tommy Fleetwood, who finished second at the British Open, is more recognizable with bettors based on having the ninth highest handle.

Of course, it shouldn’t come as a surprise as to which golfer tops the list. DraftKings has taken in the most action on Woods, who roared to a win at The Masters.

But since winning the first major of the season, he has missed The Open and PGA Championship cuts. At the US Open, Woods finished 21st.

After Woods won the 2019 Masters, Avello said they did not change their thinking or approach for future odds on tournaments.

“We offered higher than market odds on the Masters and continued that pattern throughout the major events scheduled.”

Brooks Koepka, who is No. 2 on the list, turned out being a great bet when he won the PGA Championship.

He has been consistent throughout the season, finishing second at The Masters and US Open and fourth this past weekend.

British Open among top wagered events at DraftKings

With The Open taking place at the Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland, there is a significant time difference. Tee times for Sunday’s final round started as early as 4:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

NJ bettors, however, did not seem to mind. And here’s the proof: The Open Championship produced DraftKings’ third-largest PGA event handle of the season.

Masters betting led the way followed by the US Open. The PGA Championship was No. 4.

However, several other nationally televised competitions attract business, too. Talking specifically about DraftKings, here are the others that have cracked the top 10 in terms of handle to date:

  • The Players Championship
  • Travelers Championship
  • The Memorial Tournament
  • Genesis Open
  • RBC Heritage
  • Charles Schwab Challenge

There are still several more tour stops remaining. And it’s very possible any one of them could produce significant enough betting action to crack the list.

The St. Jude Classic is taking place Thursday through Sunday. The Tour Championship is still to come next month. Woods is the defending champion in the latter event.

But with NFL training camps opening this week, football betting moves back into the spotlight (futures and Week One wagers are currently on the board at all NJ online sportsbooks).

But for those DraftKings customers needing something to fill the off-season void, golf betting was right on par.

About the Author

Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and world championship boxing at Boardwalk Hall. He is now adding NJ sports betting and online gambling to the mix.