Weekend Review: Mixed bag for bookies as Dustin Johnson lands Masters’ green jacket

Golf’s world number one shoots record score to take his first Masters win as big-priced outsiders fill each-way places

Favourite-backers were rewarded on Sunday when golf’s Dustin Johnson strolled to victory at the Masters, carding a record low score of 20 under par.

Thinking the 36-year-old American’s chances of Augusta glory were beyond him, Betfred had pushed Johnson out from 9/2 to 6/1 on Saturday morning ahead of the third round.

“Betfred’s golfing punters were smiling broadly from pretty much that moment on, as he sauntered to a stunning Masters success,” rued Betfred’s Alan Firkins.

However, bookmakers were relieved to see the heavily supported Bryson DeChambeau struggle to finish behind 63-year-old Bernard Langer on two under par, which he partly blamed on dizziness in post-round interviews on Sunday.

Kindred Group’s Alistair Gill said: “Pre-tournament favourite Dustin Johnson made little fuss of claiming his first green jacket, but thankfully there was enough support for those in behind, including the very well-backed Bryson DeChambeau, that we finished ahead on the outright market for the event.”

Meanwhile, William Hill reported decent money each-way for Cameron Smith, Sunjae Im, Dylan Frittelli and CT Pan who filled the place spots at chunky prices.

On the football front, punters got the upper hand as a slew of favourites obliged in the UEFA Nations League, including Belgium’s 2-0 win over England.

Indeed, Firkins described it as dire Sunday as “lumpy singles and countless accas” left the firm staring at a losing book. “Only a draw in the Belgium/England match might have partially rescued a dismal Sunday.”

Over at Kindred, Gill said: “The Netherlands’ win over Bosnia both left a big red hole in the book, driven by our Belgian and Dutch customers.”

Finally, there was top-quality National Hunt action at the weekend with Cheltenham’s November Meeting, the highlight being the Paddy Power Gold Cup won by Coole Cody at 10/1.

Favourite Al Dancer was the only placed at horse at single figures, which meant it was a good result for the layers of the Grade 3 handicap.

“With no favourites winning – and a few well-backed horses being foiled – it was a good day for the book,” Chad Yeomans of Betway reflected.

Yeomans added: “Sunday was slightly different as there were some well-supported horses that got the job done. The Big Breakaway bolted up in the opener, earning himself a 10/1 quote for the RSA Chase at the Festival in March.”

The feature race on Sunday was won by the heavily backed Irish raider The Shunter.

Overall, William Hill’s Rupert Adams said the November Meeting was “great”, although Lingfield put a dent in the profits. “It was good having ITV Racing both days, but we lost a fortune at Lingfield on Saturday night as load of short-priced favs.”

Talking of fortunes, one Betfred customer landed a Lucky 15 multiple for a £28,000 payday on Saturday, with the last leg involving Elle Est Belle who was controversially adjudged to have dead-heated in the gloom for the concluding bumper race.

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