This sportsbook just took several ‘max’ bets on a mini-tour golf event

March 19, 2020
Eric Cole, the favorite at Thursday's Atlantis Winter Classic, recently won $1000 in another Minor League Golf Tour event.

Never heard of the Minor League Golf Tour? Atlantis Winter Classic not ring a bell?

No matter. With nearly every other sport shelved due to the coronavirus, a handful of mini-tour golf events are marching on — and attracting the attention of bettors.

One such event was underway Thursday, March 18 at Atlantis Country Club in Palm Beach County, Fla. The one-day 18-hole competition was filled with names not even golf fans have heard of. Betting site Bovada was among the sites to list MLGT odds on its golf page Wednesday.

World No. 1564 Eric Cole, who has won $12,500 in two Korn Ferry Tour events this year, went off as the favorite at +550. Chase Johnson, who finished T48 in his last start on PGA Tour Latinoamerica, went off second at +650. In all, some 44 golfers were listed, with the longest odds belonging to nine players at 150-1.

According to Bovada, bettors pounced on the opportunity to get their golf fix. Cole attracted the most action, followed by Sunny Kim — the MLGT career money leader ($274,809.37), who went off at 10-1 — and Rasmey Kong, the 2019 Connecticut Open champion, was available at 25-1.

The Atlantis Winter Classic cost $200 to enter ($250 if you’re not a tour member), plus options buy-ins for a $20 skins pool and a $50 bonus pot. Although the MLGT hadn’t released the final purse for the event, similar one-day shootouts in recent months have paid out between $800 and $1200 to the winner, side pots not included.

As a result, bettors at home have a good chance at clearing a bigger payday than the actual winner of the tournament.

“The maximum bet is to win $5000,” said Bovada’s head oddsmaker Pat Morrow. “We have taken several bets that have a $5000 payout, mostly on longer shots.”

The Moon Valley Classic, a 3-day Cactus Tour event in Arizona, is already underway. Bovada took action there, too, including bets on some big LPGA names who are seizing the chance to get in some tournament action. Anna Nordqvist took the most action, followed by Britney Yada and Linnea Strom. Nordqvist is T2 after the first round.

Morrow admitted that dabbling in mini-tour action was an experiment — but so far, it’s going well, and more events are likely on the way.

“It is a bit of a test run for us to see if there is any interest,” he said via email. “But if wagering continues as it has so far, we will definitely look to add more minor league golf tours.”

You can follow the Atlantis Winter Classic HERE, and the Moon Valley Classic HERE.

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