On Wednesday afternoon, Eric Osterman said The SuperBook at Westgate had seen less than $1,000 on Justin Rose to win the U.S. Open. That made Rose one of the least-wagered-on golfers among those seen as legitimate contenders.
So as the sun set on Pebble Beach Thursday evening, Osterman and his oddsmaking peers were no doubt thrilled to see Rose – one of the last golfers off the course in a field of 156 – atop the leaderboard. The Englishman shot a stellar 6-under 65 to hold a one-stroke lead over a quartet of players.
Rose was 25/1 heading into the first round. He’s now the 6/1 favorite.
“We ended up with a few dozen tickets on him,” SuperBook supervisor Cameron Coombs told Covers on Thursday night. “We still do really well with him. He’s the favorite, but he’s also one of our best outcomes.”
Rory McIlroy entered the first round at 10/1 and is now the 7/1 second choice, despite three strokes and six players separating him from Rose. Two-time defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka finished the opening round right where he started on the odds board, at 8/1 after shooting 2-under 69.
Rickie Fowler set the early pace with a 5-under 66 and moved from 25/1 pre-round to 9/1 post-round. Xander Schauffele, Louis Oosthuizen and Aaron Wise matched Fowler’s score and were at 9/1, 18/1 and 30/1, respectively.
“We do pretty well to Koepka. A lot of these golfers we do really well on,” Coombs said. “There are so many good golfers at the top, which sets us up pretty good for us right now. Tiger Woods is a big liability, and we’ve got big liability on Phil Mickelson.”
Woods shot a serviceable 1-under 70, tied for 28th, and The SuperBook adjusted his odds from 10/1 to 12/1. Mickelson shot 1-over 72, tied for 58th, and tumbled from 25/1 to 100/1.
Coombs mentioned that the proposition bet of whether Mickelson would finish in the top five this week drew a $44,000 wager on No, at -1,100. Should that ticket cash, the bettor would win $4,000.
Dustin Johnson was the 13/2 favorite prior to the first round and adjusted to 20/1 after shooting even-par 71.
There was one drawback to Rose’s red-hot round: the prop bet for lowest round of the week – with an Over/Under of 65.5 – saw plenty of action on the Under, and Rose quickly made that pay off for bettors.
“We lost a little bit on that, but we’ll take it with Rose, especially if he ends up winning,” Coombs said.
The tournament-long prop of whether there would be a hole in one also hit in a hurry, with Rory Sabbatini needing nothing more than his tee shot on the par-3, 202-yard 12th hole Thursday.
But Coombs was just fine with that occurrence.
“We won on it. It feels like the public is always betting No on that prop,” he said.