Golf is one of the sports where each way betting is used most commonly. In a standard PGA Tour, DP World Tour or Major Championship, there could be 150+ players entered to compete on day one. Only one player will be the winner after the normal four days of play so it makes sense to consider an each way bet, should your player finish high in the field but not win.
Current Golf Extra Place Offers
Most golf tournaments on the PGA Tour and the DP World (European) Tour begin on a Thursday, play for a total of four days and finish on the Sunday. There is normally one tournament on each tour each week though there are weeks when only one or none of the tours play. Enhanced places on these tournaments are normally available from Monday or Tuesday until the tournament starts and betting becomes ‘live’. For the majors such as the Masters or the Open Championship, enhanced places may be available for a number of weeks prior to the tournament starting and may even be held for a period of time after the first tee-time when becoming in-play.
Standard Golf Place Terms
Luckily for golf betting fans, place terms on golf are far simpler than with horse racing for example. Taking a typical 72-hole stroke play tournament, the basic standard place terms are 5 places settled at 1/4 of the odds of the win price. By a typical 72-hole stroke play tournament we mean where players complete four rounds of 18 holes, with the player shooting the lowest score to par the winner.
Dead Heats in Golf
Whereas the place terms are straightforward in golf, something that occurs much more frequently in golf than with other sports is dead heats for places. By this we mean players tying for a position on the leaderboard as a result of having the same score when all rounds are completed.
When there is a tie for first place between two or more players, a playoff will take place to determine the winner. For betting purposes, there are no dead heats for first place, with the playoff winner counted as the winner of the tournament and the player or players losing the playoff positioned in second place.
Where dead heats do occur is for the places. Where there are two or more players dead-heating for a position they will share the prize money equally that was available for the positions that they occupied. This continues right down the leaderboard for all the player that made the cut.
By way of an example of dead heats in a specific tournament, we have shown below the top 10 players at the 2022 Masters Tournament at Augusta.
In this tournament we can see a number of dead heats just in the top 10. Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy were the clear first and second but Shane Lowry and Cameron Smith tied for third. Will Zalatoris and Corey Conners tied for sixth, Justin Thomas and Sungjae Im tied for eighth and Cameron Champ and Charl Schwartzel tied for tenth.
As you can see, where there two players tied, the next position drops in the leaderboard, counting one player for each position. Where there are two players tied for third, the next position is fifth and not fourth. Similarly, there are two players tied for sixth so the next position is eighth. If there were three players tied, the next position would be three less, four would be four less and so on.
Dead Heats and Each Way Bets
Knowing how dead heats in golf work is useful for analysing who finished where and how that affects prize money but how does it impact on each way bets? For the example above, the 2022 Masters, we can can see that although there was a dead heat for third place, five players occupied the top five positions. Assuming we placed our each way bet at the standard terms of 1/4 odds the first five places, Scottie Scheffler would be paid out as a winner with Scheffler again, Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Cameron Smith and Collin Morikawa settled at a quarter of their win odds for the place bets.
The complication for each way golf bets comes where there is a cut off for the number of places, for example at fifth place, and there are more players than places. When this happens, dead heat rules apply and the number of places will be divided by the number of players occupying the relevant places. Your stake is then multiplied by this which can be used to obtain your each way return. This can be a confusing concept so we’ve worked through some examples below.
Firstly, we have used the result from the 2014 Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club.
In this tournament we can see that even though there is a tie for second between Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia, they occupy both the second and third places so the full place stake would be used to calculate returns. If you had £5 each way on Sergio Garcia at 20/1 with 1/4 odds, your returns would be £30. The £25 place returns plus £5 place stake, your £5 win bet would be lost.
However, if we had bet on either of the Australian duo of Marc Leishman or Adam Scott, we can see that the two players occupy the fifth and final place for each way bets, in this instance, dead heat rules would apply.
As we mentioned above, we need to adjust our stake by multiplying it by the number of places divided by the number of players occupying fifth. With 1 place for 2 players, we can see that we must half our place stake to calculate our returns. If we had again bet £5 each way, on one of these players at 20/1 at 1/4 odds, our returns would be calculated as follows:
- Stake – £5 divided by 2 (multiplied by 1/2) = £2.50
- Placed odds – 20/1 divided by 4 = 5/1
- Returns – £2.50 multiplied by 5, plus £2.50 stake = £15
For a slightly different example, we have the top five from the 2021 US Open from Torrey Pines.
Here, the first three places are settled as you would expect, however there is a tie for fourth place between three players – Brooks Koepka, Guido Migliozzi and Collin Morikawa. If we have bet each way at 1/4 odds for five places, this means there are three players occupying only two places for betting purposes, fourth and fifth place.
Again we must adjust our stake as per the dead heat rules. Two places for three players means a 2/3 reduction. For a £5 each way bet, our stake would then be reduced to £3.33, £5 divided by 3 and then multiplied by two.
How do Extra Place Offers Work in Golf?
The concept for extra places works the same in golf as it does in horse racing. Rather than paying the standard 5 places bookmakers will award additional places for each way bets with them as a concession. Unlike racing however, where normally one additional place is awarded, in golf you can often find bookmakers offering 2, 3, 4 or even 5 extra places. Knowing that you could potentially get twice the places for an each way bet means it is well worth shopping around.
There aren’t too many stipulations surrounding extra places in golf. The main consideration is normally that bets must be placed before the first tee time. Usually each way markets revert to standard terms once the tournament becomes in-play. After this, pay particular attention to how any dead heats affect your bet to avoid disappointment. Each way bets with extra places will also usually be settled at 1/5 odds as opposed to 1/4.
Examples of Golf Extra Places
As an example of how extra places could affect your bet, we’ve picked out the 2022 PGA Championship from Wentworth in Surrey. This was played in early September. This tournament was actually shortened to three days with one day of play cancelled.
PGA Championship 2022 Top 5
For this tournament, 8 places were offered by a bookmaker for each way bets. With four players tied for fifth place, no additional players gained a return from these extra places however the place returns would have been affected.
Dead heat rules dictate that where there are the standard 5 places, your stake would need to be reduced by the numbers of places in question divided by the number of players. With one place and four players, this would mean that our stake would be reduced to 1/4 of the original amount.
With the three additional places offered however, this meant that four places were available for the four players and so the full stake could be applied.
Another example we can use is the Open Championship at St Andrews in 2022. In this tournament 10 places were available for each way bets.
Open Championship 2022 Top 10
Here we can see that the additional places meant that five players qualified for an each way return. In particular, this would have benefitted backers of US golfers with Brian Harman, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau and Jordan Spieth filling places 5 to 10.