The Ryder Cup: Punters choke over Hoch `gimme'

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The Independent Online
The ``gimme'' given to America's Scott Hoch by Colin Montgomerie on the 18th green cost many punters a small fortune. Hoch was at least 10 feet from the hole but the putt was conceded because Europe had already achieved a one-point victory. The gesture affected the pay-out of a chunk of the pounds 10m wagered on the Ryder Cup.

Had Hoch been asked to sink the putt - and missed - then individual match bets, as well as bets on the Cup's final scoreline and highest United States points-scorer, would have to be paid out differently.

Hoch is a fine putter, but it was odds against him stopping a Montgomerie win. Punters who backed Europe at 12-1 for a two-point Cup victory probably lost out. Those profiting from the ``gimme'' were punters correctly backing Europe at 10-1 to win by one - 141/2 to 131/2.

Also out of pocket were many punters who had bet on who would be the top US points scorer. As a result of being conceded a draw in his final game, Hoch had the most American points, with 21/2. Had he missed the putt, Hoch would have tied with six compatriots.