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Players sign anti-betting waivers at Open

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While the British Open has long provided players an opportunity to back their self-confidence with a legal wager, participants this week at Royal Liverpool have been instructed to steer clear of betting windows in Hoylake.

Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis confirmed an ESPN.com report that R&A officials are making an effort to curb betting among players this week by making each competitor sign a waiver that he will not place a wager on the tournament.

Multiple sources have confirmed the veracity of the R&A’s waiver to Lewis. One unnamed player added that with so much money on the line in the form of official prizing – last year’s Open purse approached $9 million, with Phil Mickelson making more than $1.4 million for his victory – he felt the tournament-week betting options attracted more caddies than players.

Although sports betting has limited legality in the U.S., legal betting parlors line the streets in the U.K., including near Royal Liverpool, which will host the Open for the 12th time.

While both the PGA Tour and European Tour both have policies prohibiting players from gambling on events, Open participants were often seen in betting parlors in years past. 

As of Tuesday, Ladbrokes listed Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose as 16-to-1 co-favorites, followed by Rory McIlroy at 20-to-1. Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods were both among a group of players listed at 25-to-1.