Sometimes, you hear about winning bets that make you incandescent with jealousy.
And that was exactly the case last week when one lucky son of a gun somehow plucked a golf double out of the air that paid at a rather handsome 150,801/1!
The actual details of the winning wager are almost too ridiculous to believe. The punter backed Brandon Stone (500/1) to win the European Tour’s Scottish Open, and doubled the South African up with Michael Kim (200/1) to triumph in the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic.
Lightning Strikes Twice
If you look at the formline of both players, it can leave you feeling rather incredulous at it all.
Stone’s 2018 campaign shows nine missed cuts from seventeen starts, and a highest finish of tied 22nd. He surely couldn’t compete in one of the European Tour’s flagship events, could he? A high quality field had emerged at Gullane, and so the South African’s odds of 500/1 were wholly representative of his chances.
But he delivered arguably the greatest performance of his young career, opening with rounds of 70-64-66 before closing out with an incredible 60 – which included a missed putt on eighteen which would have yielded the European Tour’s first ever round of 59.
That would have pleased our lucky punter no end, who was now a step closer to a mammoth £158,477 payout from his £1 each way flutter.
When Stone’s victory was confirmed, Kim was already cruising to his own triumph over in Illinois.
Again, to say his win was a surprise is something of an understatement. The 24-year-old has missed five of his previous six cuts, and while the John Deere Classic is not the most high profile of tournaments Stateside, there was still plenty of talented sorts in the field.
Like Stone, Kim produced perhaps the best four rounds of golf in his life, linking together remarkable efforts of 63-64-64-66 to win by an absolute country mile – his maiden PGA Tour title.
So yes, our punter is now £158,477 richer, and to be honest his ability to pick out one of these winners – let alone both – suggests he is a soothsayer, a time traveller or just one fortuitous individual indeed!
Sky Bet were the ones who had to stump up the cash, and their spokesman Sandro Di Michele said: “What a brilliant bet and hats off to the winning customer.
“To pick out one three-figure golf winner is good going but to get two in the same double is fantastic tipping and the massive payout is well deserved.
“With the Open now only days away, it gives golf fans a real taste of what can be achieved from relatively small stakes and some serious studying.”
Golf’s 500 Club
We’re less than 48 hours away from the Open Championship 2018, and if you fancy a flutter – and have been inspired by the somewhat richer individual outlined above – then here is a reminder that long-odds winners can, and do, win golf tournaments.
The 2003 edition of the Open was won by Ben Curtis, an unheralded 26-year-old who became the first debutant to win in their maiden major start. He was naturally delighted and so too were the punters who backed him at 500/1.
The Players’ Championship is regarded as golf’s unofficial fifth major, with a quality field always taking to the tee at the legendary TPC Sawgrass.
Generally the cream of the crop rises to the top here, but in 2017 there was a different feel to proceedings with the precocious Si-Woo Kim, a fine young talent who has struggled with injuries, somehow taking the spoils despite failing to finish inside the top-20 in his preceding 17 starts.
The Korean was also a 500/1 winner.
But those performances pale into insignificance compared to the efforts of Jim Herman, a journeyman pro who had achieved very little up until April 2016.
But then he somehow won the Houston Open in his 106th professional start; a victory that paid out lucky punters at the tidy sum of 1000/1!