Sportsbooks Like Jin Young Ko To Reestablish Herself As Rolex No. 1 At Pelican Women’s Championship

Written By Derek Helling on November 10, 2021

This week’s Pelican Women’s Championship features a ton of talent on the tour, but for more casual fans, the action is between the top two in the current Rolex rankings. No. 1 Nelly Korda returns to the LPGA Tour after more than a month but she’ll have to contend with No. 2 Jin Young Ko, who Korda recently bumped from the top spot.

Ko comes in with stellar recent form having won her last two appearances. That’s why legal sportsbooks around the United States favor her to make it three in a row and possibly reclaim that Rolex No. 1 ranking.

Pelican Women’s Championship details

The tournament begins on Thursday, Nov. 11, with the first groups teeing off at 7 a.m. ET. Fans can watch a mixture of live and taped coverage on Golf Channel and NBC Sports throughout the event’s four days.

The course is the Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida. The par-70 club hosts this event as a part of the LPGA Tour for just the second time. Sei Young Kim won this title last year at -14. Experience won’t count for a lot this year, though, as it’s just the first or second time many of the contenders in the field are playing the course.

In 2020, Ko finished tied for 34th at three over and Korda did not compete. Kim is in the field again this year. She’s part of a second or third tier of contenders for the title this week, depending on which sportsbook you’re using.

The strong consensus between all of them this week is that Ko is the woman to beat. It’s difficult to criticize that choice given the tear she’s been on recently.

Ko seemingly can’t miss as of late

Ko comes in with wins in the Cognizant Founders Cup and BMW Ladies Championship, but the data suggesting she’s the most likely winner stretches beyond last month’s events. She’s won three of her last five times out and five of her last seven.

At the Cognizant, she got to another level that might have come off as showing off. Not only did she lead wire to wire, but she tied the LPGA record for consecutive rounds in the 60s with 14 and ran off four birdies in a five-hole stretch.

She failed to break the record in the first round of the BMW but started a new one by carding a pair of 64s and a 67 to finish 22-under. Things haven’t gone as well for Korda since winning Olympic gold.

Her highest finish since was tied for 13th in the AIG Women’s Open. Perhaps skipping the BMW was what she needed, though. After missing the cut in the US Women’s Open, she came back with a vengeance to win the Meijer LPGA Classic, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, and then take the gold medal.

That’s why sportsbooks aren’t overlooking her in the winner’s futures for this week. Bettors will need to decide which version of Korda they think will appear on the course, however.

Breaking down the betting options and odds

LPGA sponsor BetMGM Sportsbook currently expresses the most confidence in a Ko victory with odds at just +333. Korda and Lydia Ko, who tied for fourth in this event last year, sit +1000 at that book.

Futures on Jin Young Ko range from +350 to +400 at other regulated operators. Several books match BetMGM’s +1000 on a Korda win, with others slotting her +900. For those looking for other ways to bet the event, several sports betting apps offer finish, group, matchup, and round props.

For example, BetRivers Sportsbook is laying +163 odds on Jin Young Ko to win Group A. DraftKings Sportsbook gives bettors the option to stake each player to finish in the top five or top 10. Lydia Ko is +400 to finish in the top five for the second consecutive year there.

GambetDC gives an option to stake a leader after the first round, with Kim sitting +2400 in that market. TwinSpires Sportsbook has several head-to-head markets, like one in which Rolex Rookie of the Year Patty Tavatanakit is a “pick” against Yuka Saso.

Unibet Sportsbook affords yet another option to predict the margin of victory for the winner regardless of who it is. You can put down money on a victory of a single stroke at +300 odds, for example.

The intrigue this week begins with whether Korda can defend her ranking or whether Jin Young Ko will continue to be unstoppable. A third consecutive win should be enough to catapult her back to the top.

Photo by Lee Jin-man/Associated Press
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA and the managing editor of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of the gambling industry with business, the law, and technology.

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