The Punter

The Punter's De-Brief: Joy for Jason Day after five years of struggle

Golfer Jason Day
Jason Day reacting to his win in Texas on Sunday

Jason Day is back in the winners' circle after five years and Simon Forsstrom has caused a shock at the Soudal Open...

With three outsiders tied for the lead with a round to go at the Byron Nelson Championship, we looked set for a nervy final round, and we soon lost one of the three.

The veteran Texan, Ryan Palmer, bogeyed the second and he didn't record a birdie until the eighth.

China's Zecheng Dou, who's based at TPC Craig Ranch, started nicely with birdies at four of the first seven holes. Having been matched at 1000.0999/1 before the off, the pre-event 750.0749/1 chance was matched at a low of just 2.56/4 but a double-bogey at the eighth stopped him in his tracks. The pre-event 21.020/1 chance Jason Day took command on the back-nine.

The world number two, Scottie Scheffler, who was matched at a low of 1.491/2 on Friday before holding the 36-hole lead, rallied to tie the lead during round four but his putter refused to behave.

It was left to one of the three 54-hole leaders, Austin Eckroat, and the pre-event 48.047/1 chance, Si Woo Kim, to keep the pressure on Day.

Kim, who was matched at a low of 3.814/5, birdied three of the last six holes, and Eckroat, a pre-event 420.0419/1 chance, who like Dou was matched at 100.099/1 before the off, was matched at just 3.1511/5, but both men came up just one shot shy when Day kept his composure brilliantly to birdie the 72nd hole.

Although only a 20/1 chance before the off, Day was in search of his first PGA Tour victory in five years so it was an emotional win for the 25-year-old Queenslander.

Issues with vertigo, injuries and his mother's battle with cancer have all effected the amiable Aussie over the last few years so it was great to see him back in the winners' circle. The fact that he did it on Mother's Day, just over a year after losing his mum, with his wife and kids in attendance, made it all the more special.

Fairy-tale win for Forsstrom

Over on the DP World Tour, pre-event 150.0149/1 chance, Simon Forsstrom, who was matched at a high of 240.0239/1 when the market first opened, lead through rounds one, two and three at the Soudal Open in Belgium.

Trailing by a stroke, however, it was the home hero, Thomas Detry, that went into the final round as the 6/4 favourite.

On a leaderboard lacking experience, this looked like a golden opportunity for Detry to finally win on the DP World Tour but yet again, the pressure took its toll, and he was soon out of the running - posting a birdie-free, three-over par 39 on the front nine.

Forsstrom led by three at the turn, despite a shot that any weekend hacker could identify with on the par five fifth. A wild drive at the 10th led to a double-bogey six and, after a further dropped shot at the par three 12th, the event looked wide open.

After back-to-back birdies at 16 and 17, saw my pre-event fancy, Thorbjorn Olesen, tied for the lead with Forsstrom and Jens Dantorp, he was matched at a low of 6.05/1. But with far more holes to play, it looked highly likely that if one of the two Swedes could hold their nerve, they'd win, and as it transpired, they both pulled away from the Dane.

Dantorp, a pre-event 220.0219/1 chance, hit a low of 1.654/6 after he holed a bomb at the 13th to hit the front before giving himself a great chance at 15 to extend the lead to two. But it wasn't to be.

Dantorp missed the birdie putt at 14 and Forsstrom responded by birdying it himself from eight feet.

Forsstrom then holed from 15 feet at the 16th to hit the front and he kept his nerve superbly after that.

Dantorp drew alongside the 34-year-old again when he birdied the par five 17th. But Forsstrom finished in style with a great chip and putt at the par five 17th for a birdie four and this stunning approach from the rough at the 72nd hole. He missed the birdie putt but that mattered not a jot.

Having been to Q School 11 times over a period of 15 years, Forsstrom's first DP Tour success was an extremely impressive tale of perseverance. And the fact that he'd led all the way and had to respond to Dantorp's finish made it even more inspiring.

Take on the Favourites in the Top-5 Markets

Detry was a huge disappointment again but not for those who layed him at just 1.171/6 to finish inside the top-five places. He was always struggling for a place after his poor start and he eventually finished tied for seveth.

And after his sloppy putting display, Scheffler eventually finished tied for fifth alongside Dou and Tyrrell hatton so those who backed him at long odds-on for a top-five finish will have also burnt their fingers.

Market Movers at Oak Hill

Jon Rahm has firmed up at the head of the US PGA Championship market, without hitting a competitive ball, and that's no surprise given how many short putts Scheffler missed over the weekend.
in-depth preview.

There's been money for the in-form Hatton after his tied fifth in Texas and some solid support for Dustin Johnson and Cam Smith who were in a playoff (won by DJ) on the LIV Golf Tour. But the man who's seen the most dramatic price drop is Si Woo Kim.

As highlighted on Saturday morning in the In-Play Blog, Kim was trading at 420.0419/1 midway through the Byron Nelson Championship but he's now a 110.0109/1 chance!

It's always worth keeping an eye on the major market in the week before the tournament and Si Woo has demonstrated perfectly why that the case.

I'll be back later in the week with the Find Me a 100 Winner column, as well as a look at the side markets, but there's already plenty of content to enjoy before then ahead of Thursday's start at Oak Hill.

My in-depth preview was published yesterday morning, Dave Tindall has now added his each-way piece, and Matt Cooper has looked at the top-50 in the market here.

*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter


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