From The Inbox

Viva Las Vegas: Prop bets and Bryson DeChambeau

There’s a lot of potential action for the inaction of DeChambeau, notably the over/under on how long it takes him to hit a putt

The PGA Tour is in Las Vegas this week, the home of major players in the sports betting industry (“PGA Tour finally lands top billing in Las Vegas,” Oct. 7). One type of wager offered by many casinos is the “prop” bet.

In general terms, a proposition bet is one which has little, if anything, to do with the athletic prowess to be demonstrated in the related event. A favorite example comes from Super Bowl LIII, and the bet was whether Gladys Knight's (without the Pips) rendition of our national anthem would be 1 minute and 50 seconds or more, on the one hand, or less on the other.

For me, golf-related minutes and seconds bring Bryson DeChambeau to mind.

Simply described, the prop bet would be based on how long it would take for DeChambeau to pull the trigger on a putt. Now that in-game betting has become popular, this is a natural. The casino, including online ones, would offer the over-under time for the bet on a particular putt. Obviously, the casino would decide which putts it would offer and the associated time, depending on its assessment of the putt's difficulty. In the best of all prop worlds, the crawler on your TV screen would show the lines of various casinos (which had paid the most for the privilege) and an official time clock. The “putt prop” might include any player and any putt, as could other props, including length of drive, proximity to the hole of an approach shot, and time to finish a round.

In addition to the dollar aspects of the obvious “gold,” there is the very important intangible-entertainment value. I can imagine that more than a few pace-of-play gripers would be glued to the clock. Incidentally, for those inclined to gripe, count the minutes that commercials and unrelated coverage takes out of an hour of TV golf (about 20 minutes), and Bryson DeChambeau will begin to look like a Dutch speedskater in the Olympics.

It’s ironic that DeChambeau isn’t playing in Las Vegas this week.

Ken Olshansky
Wellington, Fla.

If women are targets of bias, then what about seniors and collegians?
Concerning the debate of “equal pay for equal play” for the LPGA versus the PGA Tour, I am wondering whether those advocating for equal pay for the women feel the same way about the men’s Champion Tour (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Oct. 13, Oct. 14, Oct. 15).

Since the golfers on the Champions (aka senior) Tour play the “same game” as do those on the PGA Tour, shouldn’t their purses be equal, as well? If not, then the seniors are suffering from age discrimination.

Or, along the same line of thinking, shouldn’t golf fans be just as interested in the men’s college game as they are in the PGA Tour? There are some very talented collegiate golfers, so the TV ratings should match those of the PGA Tour pros.

The answer to both would be, no.

The Champions Tour players are not being treated unfairly.

The collegiate boys are not being treated unfairly.

In all cases, the market will determine the purses and TV ratings. Viewers watch what they want to watch, and the PGA Tour is at the top of the list and therefore has the highest ratings, and thus the highest purses.

So, the LPGA is not being discriminated against any more than some of the men’s events are.

The market will sort all of this out and, in fact, already has.

Jon Lucas
Little Rock, Ark.

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