Sports

Jon Rahm US Open Victory Costly Outcome for Sportsbooks, as Bettors Heavily Backed Spaniard

Jon Rahm won his first major title with a victory at the US Open last Sunday. His Torrey Pines heroics on the final two holes also resulted in him becoming the first Spaniard to win the US national championship.

Jon Rahm celebrates yet another clutch putt, this one of the 72nd hole of the US Open at Torrey Pines. The 18-footer turned out to be the winning putt. (Image: The San Diego Union-Tribune)

For oddsmakers, however, Rahm’s triumph provided little reason to celebrate. 

Prior to round one, BetMGM revealed that the 26-year-old was responsible for the most money wagered (11.4 percent), and most tickets (8.0 percent) among the 156-player field. 

Jon Rahm winning the US Open was the worst result for the sportsbook,” revealed Jason Scott, BetMGM vice president of trading. “Rahm received the most tickets and handle to win the tournament, resulting in a seven-figure loss for BetMGM. 

“Congratulations to all of our customers that backed Rahm,” Scott said. 

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Rahm made two career-changing putts on the 71st and 72nd holes to assume the lead in the clubhouse. When Louis Oosthuizen tugged his tee shot left on 17 into a hazard and went on to make bogey, Rahm nearly had his hands on the US Open Trophy, ready to hoist. 

When Oosthuizen failed to eagle the par-5 18th, Rahm became a Spanish hero. He paid tribute to his own hero, Spaniard Seve Ballesteros, who put Spain on the global golfing map. Ballesteros won five majors, but his best US Open finish was third. Ballesteros died in 2011 at the age of 54 from brain cancer. 

“This was definitely for Seve. I know he wanted to win this one most of all,” said Rahm, his voice cracking with emotion.

BetMGM bettors weren’t the only ones who had an inkling that Rahm would be the last man standing on Father’s Day. William Hill reported that Rahm, who recently became a dad, fueled four percent of the tickets and eight percent of the money wagered. In terms of handle, only Phil Mickelson and Koepka had more cash. 

Rahm becomes only the third man from Spain to win one of golf’s four majors. In addition to Ballesteros, he joins 2017 Masters winner Sergio Garcia and two-time Masters champ Jose-Maria Olazabal. 

One Major Remains

The Open Championship is the final 2021 opportunity for the world’s best golfers to win a major. Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, England, will host the oldest golf tournament in the world from July 15-18. 

It will give Oosthuizen a shot at redemption. The South African made plenty of new friends for his demeanor and handling of his loss yesterday at Torrey Pines. When Oosthuizen won his first and only major at The Open in 2010, the odds seemed strong that he would have a handful of such major titles at this time, more than a decade later.

Instead, Louis has since finished second in five majors.

“Look, it’s frustrating. It’s disappointing. I’m playing good golf, but winning a major is not just going to happen. You need to go out and play good golf,” Oosthuizen said. “I played good today, but I didn’t play good enough.”

As for The Open, Oosthuizen’s odds are around 30/1. 

Devin O'Connor

Gaming Legislation, Politics, Casino Business, Entertainment----Devin O’Connor’s passion for politics and background in the world of pop culture television give him insight into the gaming industry backstories that often drive news these days. After graduating from Penn State University with a theater arts degree, he worked at MTV Networks/Viacom from 2005 to 2010 as a writer and producer, where his credits included Total Request Live, New Year's Eve specials, and a special featuring poker superstar Daniel Negreanu. He later moved on to the HGTV/DIY Network, where he created, wrote, and produced three series specials: That's So House Hunters, That's So 80s, and That's So 90s. Devin came on board with Casino.org in 2014. He lives in Pennsylvania, and is an avid marathoner, having completed 15 races to date. Email: devin.oconnor@casino.org

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Devin O'Connor