DraftKings Has Colossal Day at Colonial as 1st-Round Bets Shatter Previous Tournament Records

Posted on: June 11, 2020, 08:51h. 

Last updated on: June 12, 2020, 09:47h.

Before the first day of play concluded at the Charles Schwab Challenge, DraftKings said it booked more wagers than it had any on prior four-round golf tournament. That proves that there really was something to the notion of pent-up demand by bettors starved for traditional sports.

DraftKings Shatters Golf Betting Record
Buoyed by bettors’ affinity for Jordan Speith, DraftKings shattered prior golf betting records during the first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge. (Image: Golf Channel)

The tournament, which is being played at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, is the PGA’s first following a more than 90-day hiatus forced by the coronavirus pandemic. After the first round, Justin Rose of the UK and Harold Varner III of the US share the lead at seven under par.

The Charles Schwab Challenge became our most-bet golf tournament ever today before round one had been completed. Live money since first tee time this morning is already at 30% of pre-match wagering totals,” said DrafKings Communications Director Stephen Miraglia in an email to Casino.org. “To put that number in perspective, the last true golf tournament was the Arnold Palmer Invitation – this tournament has already done more in live wagering after one day than the Arnold Palmer did over four days.”

The most wagered-on golf event in DraftKings history is The Match: Champions for Charity, which was played last month in Florida, pitting Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. However, it appears to be just a matter of time before the Schwab Challenge tops that mark, too.

In-Game Makes a Mark

DraftKings started booking golf bets in 2018. Since then, some of the most heavily wagered golf events in the sportsbook operator’s history include the 2018 Tour Championship and the 2019 Masters – both won by Woods – and the first edition of The Match with Woods and Mickelson.

In-game betting is one of the driving forces behind the big first-day take for DraftKings at the Schwab Challenge. Johnny Avello, director of race and bookmaking operations at DraftKings, highlighted live wagering in an interview with GolfWorld.

Those sentiments jibe with recent comments made by DraftKings CEO Jason Robins. He said the US is a potentially lucrative in-game betting market and that slower sports, such as golf, are conducive to live wagering.

Prior to the tournament, Texan Jordan Spieth at 45-to-1 was the most-bet player. Those odds were long, but the competition at the course known as “Hogan’s Alley” has a recent track record of minting winners that opened at 35-to-1 or longer before the start of play.

Other Players Luring Action

Data provided by DraftKings indicates that Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, and Speith are tops in terms of the operator’s handle percentage for the tournament winner, while the order for most-bet players to take home the plaid jacket is McIlroy, Koepka, and Justin Thomas.

For the leader after the first round wager, DraftKings users steered a combined 16 percent of bets to Speith, McIlroy and Ryan Palmer, a member at Colonial. Speith nearly delivered, finishing Thursday at five under par.