- On Saturday, a bettor at DraftKings placed a $500,000 bet at +125 on Si Woo Kim to win the Wyndham Championship.
- At the time of the bet, Kim held a two shot lead after shooting a third round 62 including a hole in one.
- Kim ended up finishing tied for third while 750-1 longshot Jim Herman took the win.
There’s no way to put a positive spin on starting the week down a half million bucks. Maybe if you have a few billion in the bank but otherwise you have to consider being $500K in the red when you wake up on Monday to be a bad thing. At the very least you want to go into the week all square and let the proverbial chips fall where they may.
For that reason you have to feel for a DraftKings bettor that went to bed on Saturday night looking at a $625,000 profit and less than twenty four hours later had eaten a half million loss. The bettor in question placed a $500,000 wager at +125 on South Korean golfer Si Woo Kim after three rounds of the Wyndham Championship. Kim shredded the Donald Ross designed course at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, NC on Saturday shooting a 63 on the par 70 track including a hole in one. That gave Kim a two shot lead heading into Sunday’s final round.
Kim returned to Earth on Sunday with an early double bogey and bogey to shoot a par 70 and gave up his lead. He would go on to finish T-3, three strokes behind winner Jim Herman. Herman mounted an epic comeback to earn his third win on the PGA Tour. He was a shot outside the cutline on Friday afternoon with four yards to play. He rallied with three straight birdies to make the cut but that was just the beginning. He played his final 24 holes in 12 under to finish the tournament at 21 under. Herman appeared stunned after the win telling the media ““It’s going to be tough to put in words exactly what this means.”
It means a lot for Herman as Golf.com recounts:
It means a lot of things. For one, Herman will extend his full status on the PGA Tour. It will also jump him back into the top 100 in the world ranking. (He had fallen outside the top 300.) It will also continue his PGA Tour season at least two more weeks. Herman had made just 7 of 18 cuts this season and had no top 25 finishes entering this week, but after a victory he’s now ranked 54th in the FedEx Cup standings. That’ll guarantee him a spot in the first two events of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, as well as a spot in the 2021 Masters, which will be his second trip to Augusta National. No doubt there will be some celebrating tonight.
It also meant a lot for the people that took the leap of faith to bet on Herman–a lot of folding green. As we learned in the previous quote, Herman had made just 7 of 18 cuts this season with no top 25 finishes and had fallen outside the top 300 in the world rankings. For that reason, he wasn’t exactly a trendy pick as a 750-1 pre tournament underdog at DraftKings. The Las Vegas Review Journal reported at least two winning bets on Herman–a $20 bet that paid $15,000 at DraftKings and a $2 bet at 600-1 at the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas.
And what about the poor chap that ate a $500,000 loss on Si Woo Kim? DraftKings sportsbook director Johnny Avello says it was their biggest golf bet to date:
“That was our biggest golf wager to date, but who knows what next week brings. Golf wagering is still going gangbusters and has been one of our top offerings for some time now. I just don’t see it slowing down with the major majors still ahead of us.”
The US Open will be played on September 17-20 and the Masters from November 12-15.
I’ve asked people who know a lot more about golf betting than I do about the $500K wager on Kim and they’re of the opinion that he *had* to have a hedge or arbitrage position set up. Kim is now #86 in the world rankings and had only a two shot lead heading into the final round. In fact, there were six players within four shots of his lead at the start of play on Sunday and 17 players within 7. Golf.com notes that Saturday’s third round featured “two 61s, two 62s and three 63s” before concluding that “anything can happen over the final 18 holes”. In other words, Kim was no ‘lock’ and given the logjam immediately behind him really not much of a value at +125. Hopefully for the sake of our hapless Kim bettor my golf betting associates are correct and that he didn’t just push that huge stack of chips to the middle of the table without some sort of bigger picture strategy.