Bettors have sportsbook facing 'seven-figure' liability on long shot Phil Mickelson at U.S. Open golf tournament

Bettors are loving a long-shot lefty to defy the odds again at this week's U.S. Open.

More bets have been placed on Phil Mickelson to win this week at Torrey Pines than have been placed on any other golfer at multiple U.S. sportsbooks. At Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill, Mickelson has attracted nearly twice as many bets as any other golfer, and by the time Thursday's first round tees off, the bookmaker says it's expecting to have a "seven-figure" liability on the 50-1 long shot.

"I think the only bigger liability in a recent golf major was when Tiger [Woods] was coming back from all those injuries and won the [2019] Masters," Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill U.S., said in a company release this week.

In late May, Mickelson was not in good form, and his odds to win the U.S. Open were in the triple digits. That was before he stunned the golf world by winning the PGA Championship and setting off a flurry of betting interest on the 51-year-old, who would complete the career Grand Slam by getting his first U.S. Open win.

Mickelson also has attracted the most bets of any golfer at FanDuel and the SuperBook in Las Vegas. Most of the action on Mickelson is small in stature, but not all. The day after he won the PGA Championship, a bettor with William Hill in Nevada placed a $2,100 wager on Mickelson to win the U.S. Open at 85-1 odds. The bet would pay a net $178,500.

Mickelson, who lives nearby, has won three times at Torrey Pines and has by far the most experience on the course of any golfer in the field. He has finished second at the U.S. Open a record six times.

To capture his first U.S. Open win, Mickelson will have to best tournament favorite Jon Rahm, who has separated himself from the field in the betting market. Rahm is 9-1 to win this week at Caesars/William Hill. As of Wednesday morning, no other golfer had single-digit odds.

Jeff Sherman, a golf odds specialist for the SuperBook, said Rahm cemented his status as U.S. Open favorite with his performance at the Memorial Tournament despite having to withdraw after the third round after testing positive for COVID-19.

"[Rahm] had such a wide margin going into the last day until he couldn't play," Sherman, vice president of risk at the SuperBook, told ESPN. "The other guys just aren't stepping up enough. All these other guys behind him have some type of issue that wouldn't lend them to what we're seeing out of Rahm."

Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka were each 18-1, followed by Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele at 20-1, according to Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.