Did you hear the one about the golfer who in October placed a $10 bet at 100-to-1 odds on Louis Oosthuizen winning the 2012 Masters? Well folks, that was me, the same guy who on Sunday was crying more than Bubba Watson after watching that dramatic, nail-biting sudden death playoff.
Here’s the rest of the story. In October, I was in Las Vegas for a rare visit and one afternoon I walked into the cavernous MGM Grand’s Race & Sports Book, the state-of-the-art betting arena, filled with 60-inch plasma TVs and 17 separate race and sport betting counters.
On a side table, I picked up a betting sheet titled The 2012 Masters: Odds to win the Masters. Knowing something about golf and that little event in Augusta, I figured this was my type of action. Besides, I’m a rube at blackjack and poker. Seeing the name of Louis Oosthuizen at 100-to-1 odds got my attention. His breakthrough win at the 2010 British Open by seven shots was still memorable and I recalled his beautiful swing, his impressive ball-striking skills and his calm, poised demeanor. His game had been “off the boil,” as the Brits like to say, due to various injuries over the past year which limited his play. So I happily plunked down $10 on “Louie” and placed the betting slip into my wallet.
When I got back home to Grand Rapids and friends asked, ‘Well, how did you do you in Vegas?’ I’d say, ‘I’ll tell you when the Masters is over.’”
The Masters is now over and Bubba Watson is a worthy champion, adding an inspiring story for golf’s first major. Looking back, I might even say my heart was always pulling for Bubba. OK, that’s baloney. Bubba’s hooked wedge shot off the pine needles and onto the 10th green drove a dagger into my heart and into my wallet.
As the runner-ups often say, it’s gonna take some time to get over this one. But with the help of family, friends and professional counseling, I will somehow carry on.
Oh by the way, last October Bubba was listed at 40-to-1. Some rube from Dubuque placed twenty bucks on him.