“C’mon, Luke List!!!” I shouted repeatedly at the top of my lungs, to the point of driving my cart partner mad. “If you shout Luke List one more time,” he joked.
It was a brisk Sunday afternoon on the links and both Luke List and I were playing golf, yours truly with some friends at luxurious Hunter’s Green in North Tampa and Luke List at Memorial Park at the Houston Open.
Who is Luke List, you ask? That’s a perfectly valid question for prior to this weekend, I hadn’t heard of him either. Rest assured, after Sunday’s respective rounds of golf, both his and mine, his name will forever be etched into my personal bad beat history.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t Chris DiMarco losing in sudden death to Tiger Woods in the 2005 Masters bad (I had DiMarco to win at sixty-six-to-one; he came in second) but Luke List now ranks indubitably in my personal top ten, where the money in my pocket I had already spent disappeared as if Thanos had merely snapped his fingers.
As you very well know by now, we here at SportsChump like to promote other, similar websites. One such website is The Wife Hates Sports.
Among the many topics that those at TWHS dabble in is golf futures. The website uses specific algorithms to determine which golfers on tour have the best chance to win each tournament. You can use their advice to invest in a future for these golfers or build your own fantasy golf line up for the weekend, if you’re into that sort of thing. TWHS publishes weekly predictions and his record in doing so has been rather impressive, including predicting K.H. Lee to win the Byron Nelson back in May. Lee came in at 175 to 1, which is not a bad return if you can get it.
For this week’s Houston Open, TWHS selected several long shot golfers he liked to contend. One such golfer… was Luke List.
Considering TWHS had a record for giving out quality advice when so many other websites do not (see: SportsChump), I decided to take $10 stabs on four different golfers: Brian Stuard, Hank Lebioda, Pat Perez and of course, Luke List. If they finished in the top ten, each golfer would have paid out between twelve and fifteen to one, again, solid returns for only four days of work.
My fancy new Hard Rock sports gambling app offers different ways to gamble on golf. Yours should too. You can bet a golfer to win outright or, at diminished odds, you can wager on them to finish in the top five or ten.
Beginning Thursday morning, I followed my four golfers intently. Perez missed the cut. Stuard was never in contention. But Lebioda and List flirted with the leaderboard, none more so than List. In fact, going into Sunday’s final round, List looked like he might actually win the whole damn thing. He, like Lee, was coming back at unfathomable odds.
Opting to play it safe and only test the waters on TWHS’ predictions, I played List and the others to finish in the top ten. Wouldn’t you know it if down the stretch came List only two shots back of the lead!
“C’Mon, Luke List!!!” I shouted again, counting how I was going to spend my $120. A nice meal, perhaps. Another round of golf? Why not. Or in all likelihood, I’d put it all back on the board.
Only two shots back with a few holes to play, I feared he might take some chances. Unfamiliar with his game but liking his progress, he birdied the tenth and twelfth, only to stumble on 14 with a bogey. Still, he was assured a top ten finish.
Wouldn’t you know it if Luke List, the guy who was about to win me money, the golfer who like me, was scrambling stroke for stroke on a beautiful Sunday afternoon…. DOUBLE BOGIED THE FUCKING 18TH HOLE!!! A bogie on 18 would have been fine. As a result, List fell from tied for fifth place at six-under-par, and winning me money, to four-under-par and me out of the money. Thanks to that one-hole collapse that meant nothing to anyone other than me and Luke, List finished the tournament tied… for fucking… eleventh!!! As if I needed another reason to throw a golf club.
While it was only a $10 wager, it was still a debilitating way to end a round. List’s eleventh place finish garnered him $166,875 for the weekend. Had he finished in fifth place, he would have won $289,688. In other words, the 18th hole, two-stroke slide cost him a little over a hundred grand. It cost me ten bucks. I have to keep telling myself that his pain far exceeded mine but damn if that double bogey didn’t crap on my afternoon, the irony here that I also double-bogied 18.
What’s the moral of the story? If you’re going to gamble on sports, over time, you’re going to lose more than you’re going to win. These are the facts and they are undisputable.
But, every once in a while, taking a stab on a long dog can be a worthwhile ten (or forty) dollars well spent. I’m not sure exactly what algorithms/crystal ball the good folks over at TWHS are using to pick their golfers but you rest assured I’ll be back to take another stab with the hopes of cashing in a ticket. And hopefully, both List and I can get those finishing double bogies off our scorecards.