Those who had tickets on Rory McIlroy at the 150th Open Championship were hoping for an easy Sunday payday.
Instead, not only was it not easy, but the payday never came.
McIlroy, who entered the final round on The Old Course at St. Andrews with a four-shot lead over all but Viktor Hyland, saw that advantage erased due to a remarkable backside stretch by Cameron Smith. Smith used five consecutive backside birdies en route to a 8-under 64 to claim his first major championship.
McIlroy finished third, two strokes behind Smith’s 20-under par 268, with Cameron Young edging McIlroy by a stroke for second place.
Given the position he found himself in Sunday, McIlroy expressed his disappointment after his round of 2-under 70, and it’s fair to say an extensive number of bettors are feeling the same way.
Entering Sunday’s final round, McIlroy was responsible for 17.1% of the money wagered on the tournament winner at BetMGM. And that handle accounted for 9.7% of all betting tickets, which was first among the field as well.
It depicted how bettors continued to fire on McIlroy throughout the tournament. After all, McIlroy was responsible for 12.8% of the handle and 7.9% of tickets on Thursday before climbing to 13.7% of the handle and 8.5% of tickets on Friday and against after Saturday.
Smith, who shot 8-under 64 during two different rounds, garnered 10.2% of the handle and 7.4% of tickets, both of which ranked second behind McIlroy.