Matt Lively

Tom Hoge was practically an unknown name to bettors as he prepared for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week. 

His +6000 odds price tag made sense. Hoge entered the weekend with just one professional win, which took place 11 years ago on the Canadian Tour. 

This didn’t stop two bettors from placing a combined $1,350 across three separate bets which netted them $81,950 on Hoge’s win alone. 

Meet Andrew Phillips and Ricci Libby. The two are friends who arrange a call every Wednesday night to discuss a bevy of golfers who might win that week’s tournament. It all started during the pandemic when golf was one of the few sports they could place wagers on. 

“Last year, we were playing golf, but separately,” Libby said. “We started concentrating on golf, we were playing and we went on this really big roll. I hit eight out of 13 weeks with a winner. Andrew hit three in a row and hit like five out of seven or something like that.” 

They’ve played two tournaments in 2022. At the Farmer’s Open, their big pick was Will Zalatoris, who finished second. Philips felt like the golf betting gods owed them a win. If there is a golf betting god up there, they agreed. 

“He called me Wednesday night and I said, ‘I’m really mad, I feel like we’re owed one,’” Phillips said. “This happens once every 15 years, I don’t like it.” 

The two come up with separate bets and lists that they then compare. With FanDuel and DraftKings allowing for live hedging of bets, the two say there is very little risk come Sunday of a tournament. 

Tom Hoge
Tom Hoge lines up his putt on the ninth green of the Spyglass Hill Golf Course during the third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament in Pebble Beach, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Hoge fell on that list and the gods shined down on them in a very big way. 

They hedged out on Tom Hoge on hole 16. As soon as he became a favorite over Jordan Spieth with a one-stroke lead, the two cashed out. After subtracting their bets placed on around a dozen different bettors for the Pro-Am, they still walked away with more than $60,000. 

With all their hedges, Phillips says that they had picked eight out of the top ten guys at Pebble. 

Hoge winning also keeps a few future parlays they made alive. They have bets with Hoge/Bengals ML in the Super Bowl and Hoge/Avalanche Stanley Cup/Warriors NBA Finals. 

These two aren’t amateur bettors by any means, but they also admit that their system of picking isn’t some scientific process. 

“You don’t want to look for guys that have won already during the year,” Libby said. “People need to pay attention to, when you have golfers who are usually 100-1, but on this course they are 60-1, when that happens that tells you the bookmakers are giving them a chance to win.” 

Phillips says he will read typical golf sites like GolfDigest and look for names that he sees over and over again from their writers. He makes a mental note and adds them to the list. 

Next up is the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Hot off their win, these Hoge winners are already stockpiling a list, even if they didn’t want to give out their best picks…who could blame them.

“Give out two, don’t give anymore,” Libby joked to Phillips. 

Phillips says he likes Chez Reavie at +20000 and Libby says that he feels like Harold Varner should not have the same odds as Tony Finau at +3500. 

The biggest party on grass in Scottsdale could be another very green weekend for the golf bettors. 

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