John Smoltz told us in a recent Golf Digest Podcast that the nerves he experienced during this year's U.S. Senior Open qualifier were unlike anything he ever had to deal with during his Hall-of-Fame career as a pitcher. So we're pretty sure he'll be feeling a lot of pressure come Thursday when he competes in his first major (golf) championship. But Smoltz should relax, because unlike when he used to take the mound, no one is expecting much when he arrives at the Broadmoor's first tee.
Las Vegas Westgate Superbook golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman released a few betting lines ahead of the U.S. Senior Open and to say Smoltz is a long shot would be an insult to long shots. Smoltz has been listed at 5,000-to-1 odds to win the event. Smoltz is 10/1 to make the cut, and -2000 (Risk $2,000 to win $100) to miss the weekend. Finally, his over/under for first-round score has been set at 82.5.
Smoltz qualified for the event by surviving a three-for-one playoff at Planterra Ridge Golf Club (Ga.) earlier this month after shooting a three-under-par 69 in regulation.
“This has been a dream of mine since I was probably 35 to 40 years old, and I know a lot of my teammates were tired of hearing it,” said Smoltz in his Tuesday press conference. “It is the most excited I've ever been.”
Good for you, John. Enjoy it. And try to keep it under 82.5 on Thursday. . . Thanks. . .