"contrived contest offered a glimpse of where professional golf is headed"

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Post by McLaren on Tue 27 Nov 2018, 2:15 pm

Ian Carter wrote:
Judging by the reaction to Phil Mickelson's 22nd hole victory over Tiger Woods I did not miss much.
The golf was mediocre by their standards, their much-vaunted "smack talk"was pretty dull and the destiny of the $9m (£7m) was settled by a 93-yard pitch and putt.
But this contrived contest offered a glimpse of where professional golf is headed. The destination looks terribly tawdry and potentially downright dangerous.
This was nothing more than a desperate attempt to make a quick buck. Never mind the $19.99 television charge, the most significant ground broken by this pay-per-view pantomime was the wager culture it promoted.
Changing odds were constantly updated as MGM's gambling app offered an assortment of "in-play" punts. The telecast featured betting experts effectively promoting the idea that the only way to enjoy the golf was to have some money on it.
Timing is everything and American sport is on the threshold of a betting revolution. Golf does not want to miss out after the US Supreme Court's decision to end a federal ban on sports punting.
The Match was a cynical play to get the ball rolling. It is well known that Mickelson loves a bet and plays high stakes money matches with fellow pros on the Tuesdays of tournament weeks.
Woods said "we'll play for whatever makes him feel uncomfortable" when the idea of a winner-takes-all match was initiated at last May's Players Championship. It would be all about the money.

So it was perfectly in keeping when the publicity shoot last week had both players posing with millions of greenbacks piled around them. It was so tacky, so out of touch, so unfeeling for the world outside their super-rich existence.
"When they put that photograph out of both of them caressing nine million we were left going 'hang on a minute, this is not our sport'," Sir Nick Faldo told BBC Radio 5 live's Breakfast show.
Yet those tasteless, gaudy pictures did their job; they stoked interest, had people talking and got The Match trending.
This was never going to be a worthy, legitimate sporting occasion which makes the fact that it appeared as a sanctioned event on the PGA Tour calendar hard to stomach.
How could they let it overshadow the World Cup in Australia? Well, The Match was a cash cow, a vehicle to open golf to fledgling US gambling markets and so commanded official endorsement.
The PGA Tour wants sports betting on its platforms. It recently announced an agreement with distributors to circulate scoring data for media usage and gambling purposes.
There is no doubt golf lends itself to in-play betting, a type of wagering that nets huge sums for bookies. It reportedly accounted for 77% of Bet365's revenue when the online bookmaker last week revealed an operating profit of £660m.

That is money largely extracted from losing punters' pockets, many lured by Ray Winstone's uninvited living room incursions instructing us to take note of changing odds and to have a wager.
For some it is a welcome bit of fun to enhance our viewing, for others it is a dangerous assault on impressionable minds that can lead to a lifetime of misery.
Either way, this is the world that has caught the eye of professional golf and it wants its share.
There is already gambling on golf but it is now headed to another level. So far the sport has been spared a betting scandal but it needs to be wary of the way integrity easily disappears when betting becomes a central part of proceedings.
It would be naive to think otherwise, especially if we are headed down the "exhibition" route of The Match.

Many have wondered whether Mickelson and Woods privately decided to split the $9m so both were guaranteed a big pay day regardless of the result. There is no evidence to suggest this, but cynics still ask the question.
Faldo called The Match meaningless. "The bottom line, in the real golf at the Ryder Cup Tiger and Phil couldn't get a point," said the six-time major winner. "That's when you are playing real golf with heart and passion. Everything [about it] was wrong to be honest."
These sentiments illustrate what sport should be about and what made it attractive in the first place. They explain the enduring success of events such as the Ryder Cup where there is not a penny or cent of prize money.
Plenty of people make a lot of money out of the Ryder Cup - it props up the entire European Tour - and the players indirectly profit from playing in it too. But ultimately, it needs no cash prize to be be golf's most compelling event.

Amid the torrent of comment on last Friday's Las Vegas pantomime, Faldo delivered a terrific tweet.
"Good morning from Dubai….Weird just dreamt of my 93 yard wedge at 1995 Ryder Cup. Philip [Walton] wins last match and WE win the RC! Best part of all I received a very emotional hug from Seve! #Priceless PS ….how did #thematch go down?"
That is a fine summation of what proper sport should mean. Especially on the night when Mickelson's wedge from the same distance netted him $9m he does not need.
But Faldo was wrong to say The Match was "meaningless." The outcome might have been and certainly, for me, it wasn't worth watching but the implications for golf run deep.
It is one of life's more reasonable bets that this sport is headed in a potentially damaging and dangerous direction. Beware the bookies, a betting culture brings a massive potential threat to the integrity that golf enjoys.

Unlike $9m to a billionaire, that is a prize the game cannot afford to lose.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/golf/46347935


An overreaction from Carter or should golf fans be concerned that an increasing number of high stakes gimmick events will pervade the tours? Or will the in game betting lure players to the dark side of match fixing?

Could gambling money make the PGAT even richer and even further ahead of the other tours financially?


Lets have a discussion on the issues raised by carter and any wider thoughts on what legalized gambling in the USA will do to the PGAT?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 27 Nov 2018, 2:46 pm

Would think he's spot on.
Golf in the US needs to get ahead of this, but doubt if they have any will to do so.

Probably be similar to the White House's reaction to their very own Climate Change report.

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Post by super_realist on Tue 27 Nov 2018, 6:19 pm

Mac,
I think most of the "excitement" surrounding this stupid event was down to the news that America is now allowing sports betting more freely. Sure it will die down once they've seen Ray Winstone 5 times an hour.

Hopefully some of our betting companies will move over there to prey on the American low life who would love a bet and leave us alone.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 27 Nov 2018, 7:45 pm

super_realist wrote:Mac,
I think most of the "excitement" surrounding this stupid event was down to the news that America is now allowing sports betting more freely.  Sure it will die down once they've seen Ray Winstone 5 times an hour.

Hopefully some of our betting companies will move over there to prey on the American low life who would love a bet and leave us alone.


Most Americans can find a way to have a flutter if/when they wish, but spot betting doesn't seem a thing here. It might be now!

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Post by Roller_Coaster on Wed 28 Nov 2018, 10:13 am

Will there be more events like this one? Yes. (#1 vs #2 OWGR year ending bonanza? #1 Euro/#1 US/#1Asia/#1Row semi and final shootout?)

Will it impact "the game"? No. Nothing will change beyond 1 week where the 2 (or 4) can't go to the tournament(s) they might have played.

Will it impact the Tour(s) and how business is done? No. The bread and butter of tournament play will continue regardless of any sideshow.

Will it change the betting on golf? Sounds like it possibly may if spot bets aren't yet widespread in the US although to what extent I'm not sure. Tiger to miss fairway (2/1)  might get a bit of action, but Oli Fisher to hold 7 foot putt on the 14th whilst in second last place on a Sunday, less so. It will take some evolution to find its place.

Will it change the broadcasting of golf? Tweaks possibly, but nothing I've heard of will make it any better than (say) the introduction of shot tracker has. Mic'd up golfers week in week out? I don't think there's that much out there for anything less than the golfing nerd comparing player caddie chats to see how different pairings approach the same/similar shot. Golfers are for the most part dull. Golfers at "work" are probably much duller.

Will I get involved in a high stakes winner takes all match where the winner takes a sponsored pot with no risk at all as a result of this? No.

Will it highlight Iain Carter's "temple of Doom" attitude. Yes. But then he does manage to do that quite a lot anyway.

A round with Hale (or was it Pace) was probably as revolutionary. EDIT - IT WAS PACE

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Post by McLaren on Wed 28 Nov 2018, 12:37 pm

I have never place a bet on a sports event so have little knowledge of sports betting other than the non stop adverts for it on sports coverage.  So for anyone in the know, what does the golf betting scene look like on the ET, or on the PGAT from the UK?

Is golf a popular mode of betting for gamblers?
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Post by I'm never wrong on Wed 28 Nov 2018, 12:50 pm

I don’t know Mac. I only go into bookies for, say, a Major or big tournament. And then don’t spend much. I would suspect that just backing a winner (like I try and do) would not give the quick hit that horse racing or spot betting does. But what do I know?

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Post by Davie on Wed 28 Nov 2018, 1:08 pm

Most UK online betting sites have a few markets on the golf tournaments (both ET and PGAT) - these usually involve overall results (with each-way options) plus things like day 1 leaders and some "match bets" between two or three players, both for a particular round and overall. I can't imagine many people bet on these latter things though

High profile events such as Majors etc. also have some "in play" or spot betting such as "will McIlroy birdie/par/bogey a particular hole"

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Post by raycastleunited on Wed 28 Nov 2018, 1:16 pm

Yes it was a "tawdry" event.

I can't see it changing golf.

Golf takes a long time. Not enough action for the time it takes, so these exhibition events will remain on the margins of the game, no more than a couple a year.

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Post by George1507 on Wed 05 Dec 2018, 9:49 am

I read that the company that staged this event suffered trouble with its payment system, and with loads of people complaining they couldn't see it, or couldn't pay to see it, they lifted the paywall and it was effectively free anyway.

With all the negative coverage and the moral outrage that is created, I'd guess it won;t happen again.

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Post by pedro on Wed 05 Dec 2018, 11:02 am

George1507 wrote:I read that the company that staged this event suffered trouble with its payment system, and with loads of people complaining they couldn't see it, or couldn't pay to see it, they lifted the paywall and it was effectively free anyway.

With all the negative coverage and the moral outrage that is created, I'd guess it won;t happen again.
And people who actually managed to pay got their money back. I wonder if Phil got to keep his 9m?

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Post by raycastleunited on Wed 05 Dec 2018, 1:23 pm

And sky put it on its golf channel, so anyone with a VPN could access it without PPV

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