If you settle down for a pint in the local on Friday night and check the iPhone to see your punt is sitting pretty at the top of the US PGA Championship leaderboard, then life is pretty sweet. You’re betting skills are half-way home to rewarding you handsomely and you have every right to feel smug. In fact at this point you’re well entitled to flick your hair to the side and admire your greatness in any kind of reflective object within a few yards. You are majestic.
However your winnings are not guaranteed. There will always be a niggling feeling that your man will bottle it and your hopes and dreams for the final golf Major of the season will come crashing down around you. Paddy Power are offering cash-out on the outright betting in the golf, meaning you could take your money and run. But do you?
The Paddy Power Blog has studied the last 12 years and tried to figure out if you should stick it out if you’re leading at half-way. The results are murkier than Jimmy Carr’s tax dealings.
On the upside, seven of the last 12 US PGA Championship winners held the lead, or the joint-lead at least, on Friday night. So if you’re going into the half-way point at the top of the leaderboard you have every right to be confident. Jason Dufner lead at half-way last year and went on to win the event by two strokes ahead of Jim Furyk. In 2011 he led at half-way again, only to lose in a play-off to Keegan Bradley, a man who was also leading after the second round in that year.
If you’re a glass-half-full man the stat of seven winners leading at the half-way stage in the last 12 years will convince you to let the bet run. However if someone gives you a doughnut and you complain about the hole in the middle, you’ll no doubt have spotted that 17 of the 24 half-way leaders in the last 12 years didn’t win. That’s the kind of trend that would make you bite Paddy’s hand off when he offers you a cash-out. It’s all about perspective. And doughnuts.
Vijay Singh was leading in 2004 at half-way and went on to lift the trophy – beating Justin Leonard in a play-off. In 2012 Singh was leading at half-way again. By Sunday evening he was only just in the top 40 and was a monster 16 strokes behind winner Rory McIlroy.
The biggest collapse of a half-way leader since 2002 was by Billy Andrade in 2006. He was part of a four-way tie for the lead going to bed on Friday night, however a 6+ on Saturday and then a 2+ on Sunday put paid to his chances and he closed out the tournament in 41st place.
Rory McIlroy went from wire-to-wire to win the Open Championship jut a few weeks ago, and if the favourite has the lead on Friday night it would be no surprise to see him go on and win his second US PGA Championship.
Whoever is leading come Friday night is still only half-way home, but you can have the cash in the bank ready for a Saturday morning fry-up thanks to a cheeky cash-out. It just depends on how confident you are, how lucky you are, and how big your plums are.