Bettor Up! WM Phoenix Open brings in-play betting alive
4 Min Read
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.– Midway through Tuesday’s practice rounds at TPC Scottsdale a call from the crowd bellowed towards a bunch of TOUR players walking down the famous 16th hole to flex their muscles.
When Si Woo Kim indulged the request, a huge roar went up. Turns out a friendly wager between fans had been placed on whether or not the request would be answered.
Yep, the betting vibe was already palpable at the WM Phoenix Open.
A huge week awaits those in Phoenix, as not only is this the PGA TOUR’s first full-field designated event but it’s also the first tournament in 2023 to be held in a legal betting state. While side bets between friends have long been a part of the atmosphere during this event, these days official options also abound.
With an incredible 22 of the top 25 players in the Official World Golf Ranking and the top 10 players in the FedExCup among those who will line up at TPC Scottsdale. And just to liven the action, Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles will be played just down the road at State Farm Stadium on Sunday, shortly after a tournament winner is crowned.
Yes, the biggest party week in golf will be even bigger than usual this time around.
As such, Golfbet is on the premises all week bringing you content and insight from inside the ropes, helping to usher in a new era for TOUR fans looking to incorporate betting into their on-site experience.
We come to you in the shadows of where DraftKings, the TOUR’s first official betting operator, is now mid-construction on a new, first-of-its-kind sportsbook (due to be completed ahead of next year’s tournament).
“As the first sportsbook to be built at a PGA TOUR golf course and tournament site we know this will elevate the people's open to a new level,” PGA TOUR commissioner Jay Monahan said recently at the site’s groundbreaking.
“Our tournaments are held over four days. They start at 7:00 AM and generally the last players are off the golf course at 7:00 PM. There are 30,000 shots, the golf course is held sometimes over 400 acres and so the number of opportunities fans have to bet on our sport is far greater, far more prolific, than any other sport. Now that you're seeing explosive growth in sports betting in the United States, you're seeing more and more fans gravitate towards our sport for that reason.”
And the elevation has already begun. While construction continues, DraftKings will have an on-site presence inside the grounds with a Kiva Club hospitality space that overlooks the 10th and 17th holes. With markets ranging from outright bets to head-to-head matchups and hole-by-hole outcomes, bettors can dabble with in-play options while watching the tournament play out a few feet in front of them.
“It’s pretty crazy how many people are in town and they’re all looking for a fun time, so anything that potentially adds to the experience for fans is great,” local fan Lauren Lemmer said from the Kiva Club.
“It’s going to be quite unique to be able to engage in golf betting while being so close to the action. I think bettors are going to be surprised at how many markets are available and the added entertainment value that is possible. I’m excited for the action ahead.”
Speaking of the action, Jon Rahm (+750 via BetMGM) and Rory McIlroy (+800) share favorite status in the pre-tournament betting markets, with both players having already notched wins in early 2023. They’re followed by world No. 2 Scottie Scheffler (+1200), who will defend a title for the first time in his career this week at TPC Scottsdale.
Rahm, a former Arizona State standout, lives in the area and hasn’t finished worse than 16th in his seven previous appearances. He’s expecting another massive week, both for himself and the tournament in general.
“I think this was a designated event before we ever knew what they were going to be,” Rahm said Tuesday. “No matter what the purse is, this tournament is going to be what it is. Very few sporting events in the world can comfortably happen in the same week as the Super Bowl and still have the impact that they have like this one.”
Ain’t that the truth.
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