Early success for Rory McIlroy at The Open - but all bets are now off

Rory McIlroy (left) celebrates winning a private bet with Darren Clarke
Rory McIlroy (left) celebrates winning a private bet with Darren Clarke

Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke looked to have had a friendly wager during their practice round ahead of the Open Championship yesterday, but more serious wagering is strictly prohibited.

One of the conditions of entry for the 156 players at Hoylake is agreeing to abide by anti-gaming regulations which mirror those in place on the European and PGA Tours.

The regulations were introduced in the Open at Royal St George’s in 2011 and include the following terms:

1 - No competitor or caddie shall directly or indirectly bet or facilitate betting by another person; 2 - No competitor or caddie shall have any financial interest, either direct or indirect in the performance or winnings of any competitor, which includes purse-splitting, prize money insurance, financial assistance or bets; 3 - A competitor shall be responsible for any actions of a caddie who is employed by him.

With golf returning to the Olympics in 2016, R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said: “I can say that this whole business of keeping sport clean in terms of betting is very high on the IOC’s agenda at the moment and something that we’re following very closely, because it’s just a killer to sport to think that any outcomes might have been predetermined.

“I really don’t think that’s applying in golf. But we have to be vigilant.”