Seven friends who met at Concordia University in Minnesota bet big on the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA Championship, and this governed their journey to The Open in Scotland, where they wore a matching Kevon Looney jersey.  From left: Tom Liebeck, Mike Dokken, Dan Ryan, Nate Ohme, Clarence Hunt, Andrew Bellevue and Mitch Moore.

Why a group of Midwesterners on an epic trip were wearing Kevon Looney jerseys at the British Open

Seven friends who met at Concordia University in Minnesota bet big on the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA Championship, and this governed their journey to The Open in Scotland, where they wore a matching Kevon Looney jersey.  From left: Tom Liebeck, Mike Dokken, Dan Ryan, Nate Ohme, Clarence Hunt, Andrew Bellevue and Mitch Moore.

Seven friends who met at Concordia University in Minnesota bet big on the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA Championship, and this governed their journey to The Open in Scotland, where they wore a matching Kevon Looney jersey. From left: Tom Liebeck, Mike Dokken, Dan Ryan, Nate Ohme, Clarence Hunt, Andrew Bellevue and Mitch Moore.

Milwaukee native Kevon Looney picked up his third NBA championship ring when the Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals last month, signing a three-year deal to stay with the franchise and … now in one of golf Presence is the most sacred place?

The last part needs some clarification, and it’s an epic story.

Seven friends, originally from Minnesota and North Dakota, showed up at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, for the 150th installment of The Open Championship, courtesy of Looney and his fellow warriors, for the journey of a lifetime. She was dressed in a bright-yellow No. 5 Looney Warriors jersey.

“Yeah, it’s been crazy how many locals here have commented on the shirt,” said Andrew Bellevue, who traveled with friends from his days at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. “Eighty percent loved them. Some alcoholics of late trash-talked, ‘Go Celtics, go Lakers.’ … had a lot of fun.”

No Original The Celtics have their roots in that part of the world, after all? Otherwise too…

How the friends got there is related to their trust in the warriors. Golf.com’s Alan Bastable has the full story of how Bellevue — a die-hard Warriors fan — convinced his friends to bet as much on Golden State as possible to win the NBA title ahead of basketball season. They went to Iowa to place their bets; Beliveau said he had about 10-1 odds before the season, then doubled to 6-1 in the middle of the year, and came up with $30,000, accumulating somewhere between $5,000 and $6,000.

The win provided airfare and a remarkable Airbnb location across the street for $18,000 from the 18th green. Beliveau said the friends have bet on the action at The Open as well, including a big bet on Rory McIlroy to win. And, as it turns out, McIlroy was tied for the lead going into Sunday.

More: Golfweek Coverage of the Open Championship

“If Rory wins,” one of Beliveau’s friends told Golf.com, “we’re going to be the happiest people on the course, other than Rory.”

But why Looney, who started 13 Warriors playoff games this year (including three in the finals)? He has been the more laborious component of the Warriors run, while superstars such as Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Drummond Greene, and even breakout star and fellow Milwaukee Jordan Poole have made headlines.

“Was a massive Looney fan and has always felt that he has been a massively important component, especially in the playoffs,” Beliveau said.

JR Radcliffe can be contacted at (262) 361-9141 or [email protected] follow him on twitter @JRRadcliffe.

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This article was originally published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Group of friends win big, wear Kevon Looney jersey at The Open

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