Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The PGA Twist!

Tiger Woods was dethroned, and how. It’s been well documented that never before in his career had he ever lost a major after having the 54 hole lead. This, he has managed to do fourteen times in the past. However, change has come to the world of golf in the form of the South Korean, Yang Yong-eun; winner of the 91st PGA championship.

Yang Yong-eun left no stone unturned in the lead up to his three shot victory at the PGA championship. Koreans around the world are celebrating, and the sport is sure to receive a significant boost back home, which saw the rise in popularity of the sport when fellow countrywomen Se Ri Pak won the US Open and the LPGA way back in 1998.

People who’d put money on Yang winning the tournament were delighted as they made around $12,500 for every $100 that was placed. People who backed Yang after Friday got odds of up to 425:1, meaning they made $42,500 for every $100 that they’d bet.

Talk about the ‘tiger’ losing his invincibility factor has already started doing rounds.

The current world number 54, Stephen Ames, who came 24th in the standings and made over $50,000 in prize money said that he was quite happy with the way the tournament turned out for him. About the Yang victory, he was of the opinion that this was “good for golf”, making it more exciting.

Who's favored this week? Check out live golf odds here.

Yang came into the last round with a 2 shot deficit but he did not look or feel beat. The 2 shot deficit was overcome by the ninth hole. This put him neck to neck with one of the best golfers that the world has seen. Yang did have a chance to shut Tiger out at the 17th hole by taking a 2 shot lead into the final hole when Tiger bogeyed on the 17th; but that was not to be, as Yang also bogeyed on the same hole. While Yang’s approach on the 18th was pretty much where he wanted it, Tiger’s approach found his ball on the rough. Yang ended up finishing the round with a birdie, as well as the championship.

However, not all Tiger backers ended up being disappointed. While this news did come as a blow to countless Tiger Wood fans, an Irish bookmaker is said to have blundered big; by paying out all Tiger backers half way through the tournament. Paddy Power, the Irish bookmaker, has reportedly paid out around 1.5 million Euros to everybody who’d placed bets on Tiger Woods.

This did backfire quite badly and the bookmaker would have suffered much more had the heavily backed P. Harrington won the title. A statement that the firm released post this debacle said, "It takes a special kind of dimwit to turn what should have been our best ever golf result into our worst.”

What’s ironic is that a very few sports-books had posted odds for Yang Yong-eun when the tournament began. People who backed him though, aren’t complaining.

Written By Rajiv Baniwal