Play, Yep — Bet, Nope

It’s a common practice in Britain for players (not all) to place a bet on themselves (presumably) to win the British Open. Sweetens the pot, a bit, right (as if raking in $1.66 million for winning isn’t sweet enough)? Not this year. Players are required to sign a waiver stating they will not place wagers on the championship.

Ah, the Brits love to bet, especially on the British Open. They bet before and during the championship on, well, you name it: the winner (Rory McIlroy, the first round leader?), those who make the cut, how many bunkers a player will hit, the top U.S. player (or Spanish or Italian or Australian, etc.), the round winner of a threesome on Thursday and Friday, the round winner of a twosome on Saturday and Sunday — the British Open betting possibilities go on and on (see video).

Not if you are a competitor, not this year. All bets are off because, according to many players, for the first time contestants have been required to sign a waiver stating that they will not place wagers on the championship.

Justin Rose has won two straight tournaments leading into the Open and is a 16-1 favorite. Rory McIlroy, the first round leader so far, is a 10-1 favorite and Tiger Woods, who is three strokes off McIlroy, is at 16-1 (see odds).

Turns out not to be a first, after all, just the first time the waiver has made an impression; R&A's executive director of championships Johnnie-Cole Hamilton said it has been in place since the 2011 Open. The PGA Tour and European Tour have policies that prohibit players from gambling on tournaments, and it appears the Open, which had turned its back on players placing wagers in the past, is getting tougher.

Bottom line: You can play, but you can’t bet. Caddies, however, are not required to sign a waiver.

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