Caesars steps up to the tee

Jun 3, 2003 6:13 AM

Annika Sorenstam did more for her career in two days at the Colonial than the 10 years and 43 titles on the LPGA Tour.

The first taste of Sorenstam’s newfound fame takes place this week when Las Vegas books decide whether to post the odds for the LPGA McDonald’s tournament. It’s the second of four majors on the LPGA Tour. (Can anyone guess what the first was, and who won?)

Well, Chuck Esposito has taken the lead and posted the LPGA McDonald’s golf odds at Caesars Palace. You the man, Chuck.

"With the attention the men’s majors receives and all the hype surrounding Annika Sorenstam competing in the Colonial, we thought it a natural to capitalize on golf’s popularity and book the LPGA championship," Esposito said.

Sorenstam is the second choice at 7-2 behind favorite Se Ri Pak at 3-1. Pak has won the McDonald’s event two of the last three years. Sorenstam has never won the LPGA.

Suncoast race and sports director Eddie Ricca said he was strongly considering posting the odds thanks to the sudden interest in the world’s top female golfer.

That would be a good thing. If Arena football and MLS soccer is posted, there’s no excuse for leaving top LPGA events off the board.

Ticket sales were up more than 50 percent at last week’s LPGA event in Illinois due to Annika’s increased popularity. No doubt Esposito picked up on that and took advantage.

We hope this won’t be a flash in the pan.

The LPGA is the only major sports organization that has not had its most important events available on the Vegas oddsboard. If those brutal WNBA games are listed, the LPGA needs to be.

As I’ve said many times, golf has a vastly untapped source of betting interest. Golfers love to gamble, evidenced by the number of side bets and $2 nassaus taking place daily to spice the game.

Thank you Annika for a job well done at the Colonial. Now it’s up to the golfers here to bet.

(Answer to question:) 1st major: Kraft/Nabisco. Winner: Patricia Meunier-Lebouc