The PGA Tour is back much to the delight of golf enthusiasts and sports betting fans alike. The PGA Tour kicked off with the Sentry Tournament of Champions, which was held at the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Maui. During this first leg of the tour, underdog Harris English claimed his first PGA Tour win since 2013 to open the 2021 season.
Golf has had quite an eventful year despite the pandemic and all the challenges it brought as we’ve discussed here. What’s astounding is that despite these setbacks, golf was one of the only sports in the world to use a revised schedule without interruptions. For instance, The Players Championship may have been canceled in March when the pandemic was announced.
However, it returned later that year in June with impressive safety protocols and sans spectators. When the PGA Tour returned during the sports void, it provided sports fans of all backgrounds much-needed relief during what was and continues to be a devastating period in our history.
Sportsbooks were also great beneficiaries of a continuous golf season. Punters, starved of sporting events to bet on turned to the PGA Tour, which consequently drove golf betting handles for scheduled tour events and tournaments to unprecedented levels. When other sports returned eventually, the handles did lower slightly but were still above old pre-pandemic days.
This year promises to be even better than the last as analysts predict that the PGA Tour will continue to receive good engagement throughout. This season boasts a huge betting audience that built loyalty during those dark months of state-enforced quarantine. As such, the PGA Tour should expect to reap the rewards of its consistency during that period for years to come.
Plus, punters in a broad variety of markets can bet on a selection of gold events, both live as well as pre-match. So even though punters may run out of opportunities to wager on other sports, golf doesn’t appear to have this issue. While punters do seem to enjoy betting on live events and tournaments, there are also lots of opportunities to wager before the actual tour events kick off thus making wagering on the Tour that much more enjoyable.
So what will the 2021 season look like?
The PGA Tour concluded its 2019-2020 season with relatively low positive cases considering the infection cases were surging dramatically at the end of the year. A total of 14 tournaments were played with no spectators. But this year might be different as the Tour has reportedly to bring back spectators to the course. However, an exact timeline has not been given as to when this might happen.
The good news is that the year is already off to a great start with the success of the recently concluded Sentry Tournament of Champions. All the disruptions that took place last year have had an impact on this year’s season, in that the events will be a lot more condensed than usual. This means that month after month will be full of amazing golfing events for enthusiasts to enjoy and wager on.
Among some of these exciting golfing tournaments and events is the Ryder Cup, which was postponed to this year due to palpable reasons. The Ryder Cup is held biennially and it was pushed back for the second time in its history; the first being as a result of World War II.
The Ryder Cup will be held a little later in the year in September at Whistling Straits. Team Europe will be the one to beat after their triumph at Le Golf National in 2018. Hopefully, crowds will be in attendance as the vaccine continues making its way to the general population.
The Solheim Cup is also scheduled to take place in Ohio. Again Team Europe will be the one to beat after their momentous victory at Gleneagles in 2019. The Masters will be back in full swing this year as it retains its usual slot in April. If you can recall, the Masters had to be rescheduled to November due to the high infection cases that were being recorded at the time.
Dustin Johnson will be the one to watch during the event as he strives to defend the Green Jacket. The PGA Championship is expected to take place in May at Kiawah Island. The US Open will follow in June at Torrey Pines.
The LPGA Tour is also just as jam-packed, which is great news for lovers of women’s golf. Other than the Solheim Cup, lovers of women’s gold also have 5 majors to look forward to. There will be a total of 34 events spanning 3 continents.
The US Women’s Open will return to its old summer slot. The season will close with the CME Group Tour Championship, which promises an impressive $5million purse. The Olympics will also feature various golf competitions.
This year promises to be full of non-stop golf action, which is great news for the punter and the golf lover alike. Fans have a lot to anticipate including all 4 of golf’s major championships. Even better, these events could allow fans to be in full attendance for the first time in months.
So far, only limited spectators have been allowed at a string of tournaments including during The 2020 Houston Open held in November, as well as the Bermuda Championship, which was held in October last year. By the time the vaccine is made available on a broader scale during the 2nd quarter of the year, the season may be back to pre-pandemic levels.
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