6,000-1 odds for Charles Barkley to win celebrity golf tournament

ByDavid Purdum ESPN logo
Friday, July 22, 2016

Leicester City overcame 5,000-1 odds to win the English Premier League, so surely lovable longshot and noted horrendous golfer Charles Barkley has a chance at this week's American Century Championship celebrity tournament at Lake Tahoe -- a one in 6,000 chance.

Barkley is 6,000-1 to win the tournament, which tees off Friday at Edgewood Golf Course. He's by far the biggest longshot in the field, with slightly worse odds than Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles and comedian Larry the Cable Guy, who are each 3,000-1.

Barkley finished 90th out of 91 golfers at last year's tournament, besting model Kim Alexis by two points and coming up just 178 points shy of champion Mark Mulder, the former Major League pitcher.

Barkley has finished last five times in his 20 appearances in the tournament. But a few risky folks believe this is his year, or, more likely, simply want a souvenir betting ticket on the NBA Hall of Famer. As of Thursday afternoon, 10 bets had been placed on Barkley to win the tournament at the sportsbook at Harveys casino in Las Vegas.

"I think they use them to get autographs," Harveys sportsbook manager Dave Cudney said of the bets on Barkley.

Cudney has been setting the odds for the celebrity tournament since the mid-1990s. He says the largest bets on the tournament have been in the "$10,000" range, but most are small bets, especially the ones on Barkley, who didn't exactly ooze confidence about his game in a June press conference promoting the tournament.

"I would love to play great golf, but I think it's probably not going to happen for me, man," Barkley said. "But I'm a little too old to be trying to take sports serious, I'm out there to relax and have a good time."

Mulder and professional tennis player Mardy Fish are co-favorites at 3-1 this year. Golden State point guard Stephen Curry (6-1) has attracted "by far and away" the most bets, Cudney said. Former MLB pitcher Eric Gagne (5-1) has attracted the most money as of Thursday.

Curry's teammate Andre Igoudala and his father, Dell Curry, are also in the field, each listed at 30-1.