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Par is term used in the sport of golf, and it describes the number of strokes which a golfer is expected to take to get the ball in a particular hole. On most golf courses, the par score for the holes is 3, 4 or 5. The ultimate winner of any golf tournament is the player who achieves a score which is the furthest under par, although this is only the case in the form of golf known as stroke play. Although stroke play is the most popular form of golf, and the one which is favoured for the major tournaments, there are alternatives such as match play. In this format, which is used in the Ryder Cup, for example, two players play a hole and the player who comes in furthest under par is awarded a point for that hole.
The par for a course is central to the scoring of any tournament played there, and so plays a vital role in all golf bets. A score which is 1 under par is known as a birdie, 2 under par is an eagle and 3 under par an albatross. 1 over par is called a bogey, 2 over a double bogey and 3 over a triple bogey. The most common form of golf betting involves simply picking the player most likely to win the tournament and placing either a single or each way bet on them. Other bets involving par include trying to predict the number of birdies or eagles a particular player might score, or the number which will be scored in the tournament as a whole, often by placing a bet that this will be above or below a figure set by the bookmaker. Bets can also be placed on which player will be leading at the end of the first round, and how large the final margin of victory will be. Making successful bets based upon the scoring achieved during a golf tournament usually depends upon researching the current form of individual players, and knowing something about the course itself and the likely weather conditions, and whether these will favour particular players or under par scoring as a whole.