Fans betting on golf embraced by Bryson DeChambeau and others – Los Angeles Times

Is this Masters different?

You bet.

And bet, and bet. Online bookmakers offer about 1,300 ways to bet on the most prestigious tournament in golf, with most of those being in-play wagers such as whether Tiger Woods will play his next hole in birdie or better, or whether Bryson DeChambeau’s next drive will be shorter or longer than 350 yards.

Wagering on sports is legal in 20 states, with more to come, and the perception of gambling on events is changing. As with those stratospheric DeChambeau drives, the stigma surrounding sports betting is starting to lift and disappear.

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“The perception of gambling is no longer kind of shady bookies and offshore accounts and things like that,” said Jay Croucher, director of sports analytics for PointsBet, a Denver-based online bookmaker. “Now it’s a lot more on U.S. soil, and it’s a lot more familiar and known. There are a lot of celebrities and athletes who are brand ambassadors, and it helps with that awareness and changing of perception.”

DeChambeau is one of those ambassadors. He’s wearing a DraftKings patch on his Kangol hat this week, the first golfer to sport that logo, and the company has a billboard touting him along Washington Road, across the street from where Augusta National members turn up the famed Magnolia Lane.

“I really think, personally, for me, that was a no‑brainer to engage in that field,” DeChambeau said. “Because I’m
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