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The Punter's In-Play Blog: Donaldson and Doc showing the way

Golfer Jamie Donaldson
Jamie Donaldson - the leader in Cyprus

Both this week's tournaments have just one round left so our man's cast his eye over the two leaderboards for one last time...

“There could easily be some nerves on display and that might just offer up a chance for 48-year-old Texan, Brian Gay, to sneak passed them all to win his fifth title. He won’t mind how windy it is tomorrow and I thought 28.027/1 was fair given he trails by just two.”

21:20 - October 31, 2020

Jamie Donaldson will take a shot lead into the final round of the Cyprus Open but it's ridiculously tight behind him. Here's the 54-hole leaderboard with prices to back at 21:10

Jamie Donaldson -14 7.413/2
Thomas Detry -13 7.26/1
Sami Valimaki -13 8.27/1
Marcus Armitage -13 11.010/1
Kalle Samooja -13 12.011/1
David Drysdale -13 23.022/1
Robert MacIntyre -12 13.012/1
Garrick higgo -12 16.5
Jordan Smith -12 19.5
Callum Shinkwin -12 26.025/1
Jeff Winther -12 28.027/1
Matthias Schwab -11 30.029/1
Shubhankar Sharma -11 42.041/1
Adrien Saddier -11 60.059/1
Dale Whitnell -11 80.079/1
-10 and 44.043/1 bar

Given we hadn't seen the venue before, this was always going to be a tricky tournament and with a round to go it's an absolute minefield. The leader, Donaldson, put himself into contention at the recent Andalucía Masters at Valderrama but played like someone that hadn't won in six years and there are enough questions surrounding all the contenders to make it hard to predict the outcome.

Sami Valimaki is the only player amongst the five players tied for second that has previously won on the European Tour (the Oman Open in March) but he was awful in-contention at the aforementioned Andalucía Masters and he's made mistakes this week when threatening to pull away. I'm being very critical but given how crowded this is, I don't want to back him at a single-figure price.

Jordan Smith and Garrick Higgo are the only winners amongst those that are tied for seventh and of the two, I prefer the latter. Smith was a lucky winner of the Porsche Open more than three years and he's not exactly impressed since, while Higgo won the recent Open de Portugal in fine style and at 21, he has much more scope. I thought 17.016/1 was fair given he only trails by two.

Obviously, one of those seeking their first win could get across the line tomorrow but it's anyone's guess who that might be. Detry and Robert McIntyre are the classiest of the maidens but they're priced up accordingly.

I'm not convinced that someone from some way off the pace won't take this tomorrow. I know it's a bunched leaderboard and logic would suggest that at least one of the leading group will post a low score but those trailing by four and five are still in it if they can go super low. We've seen five rounds of 64 so far but I can see a lower round out there.

I'll be cheering on pre-event pick, Andy Sullivan, who trails by four after bogeying the par five tenth (easiest hole on the course) and the par five 18th today and in addition to Higgo, I'm happy to throw a few pounds at Matthias Schwab at 30.029/1. He played the eight holes between five and 12 in six-under-par today before a scruffy finish saw him slip back to tied 12th and three strokes adrift but he's clearly capable of throwing in a low one.

There's just a round to go at the Bermuda Championship now, with Doc Redman leading by a stroke. Here's the 54 holes leaderboard with prices to back at 21:15.

Doc Redman -10 3.55
Wyndham Clark -9 7.26/1
Ryan Armour -9 9.617/2
Kramer Hickok -9 9.617/2
Matt Jones -8 14.013/1
Ollie Schniederjans -8 15.5
Brian Gay -8 27.026/1

-7 and 28.027/1 bar

Last year's edition was put to bed very quickly by Brendon Todd when he birdied nine of the first 11 holes on Sunday to win by four, having trailed by two with a round to go, but with the wind still forecasted to blow, I doubt we'll see anything close to that sort of a start tomorrow.

This is another tough one to call but I'm happy to oppose the leader, who looks short enough given he's yet to win. It is, in all probability, only a matter of time before he does but I'm happy to swerve him at that price.

Like the leader, Wyndham Clark and Dave's 100/1 pick, Kramer Hickok, are both looking to get off the mark on the PGA Tour and the 44-year-old Ryan Armour is looking to win only his second title, having won the Sanderson Farms Championship three years ago.

There could easily be some nerves on display and that might just offer up a chance for 48-year-old Texan, Brian Gay, to sneak passed them all to win his fifth title. He won't mind how windy it is tomorrow and I thought 28.027/1 was fair given he trails by just two.

12:10 - October 31, 2020

The third round of the Cyprus Open is well underway and live on Sky Sports and I'll be back later to take a look at that one once the round's finished but for now I'm concentrating on the Bermuda Championship. Here's the 36-hole leaderboard with prices to back at midday.

Wyndham Clark -8 6.611/2
Ryan Armour -8 9.08/1
Kramer Hickok -7 14.013/1
Doc Redman -6 9.08/1
Ollie Schniederjans -6 16.50
Denny McCarthy -5 16.5
Peter Malnati -5 20.019/1
Scott Piercy -5 24.023/1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat -5 34.033/1
Roger Sloan -5 42.041/1
Luke Donald -5 65.064/1
-4 and 26.025/1 bar

Having watched the coverage yesterday, I don't really know how Kiradech Aphibarnrat managed to steer his way around Port Royal without making a bogey and his five under-par 66 was, unsurprisingly, the best of the day. The wind blew hard throughout and we'll get more of the same today and tomorrow.

Aphibarnrat, as well as last year's pre-event favourite, Denny McCarthy, and Peter Uihlein, who both hit four-under-par 67s, have shown us that it is possible to go reasonably low here, even in blustery conditions, but the three co-leaders at this stage last year finished first, second and third, so we should probably be concentrating on the leaders.

Alone in third, Dave Tindall's 100/1 each-way fancy, Kramer Hickok, trails by just a stroke, and given last year's result, he's nicely poised. He's hit more greens than anyone else so far this week so that bodes really well but the one I quite like the look of is McCarthy.

The 27-year-old Marylander is best known for his putting prowess and there's room for improvement there over the next few days. It's a tricky event and one to be wary of but I was happy to have a tiny bet on last year's jolly at 16.5.

20:00 - October 30, 2020

This week's Cyprus Open venue is very easy on the eye and it's receiving rave reviews from the players but they're taking ages to get round and play was suspended today as darkness fell with a number of groups needing to come back in the morning to finish their second rounds. This tweet may explain it, at least to some degree.


On 11-under-par, Jamie Donaldson, with one hole to play of his second round, and Marcus Armitage, who still has three left to play, are tied at the top but there are as many as 15 others on -8 or better.

Sami Valimaki, who's tied for third in the clubhouse on -10 alongside journeymen pros, Richard McEvoy and David Drysdale, had threatened to run away from the field this morning, when he played his first six holes in five-under-par. The Finn's already been matched at just 3.185/40 but he's now heading the market at 8.88/1.

It's a wide-open heat and with scores ranging from 64 to 77 today, and with no wind to speak of, anything can happen tomorrow.

Given how tricky it looks, I'm happy to leave the event alone for now and just cheer on pre-event pick, Andy Sullivan, who trails by three on -8.

09:40 - October 30, 2020

The second round of the Cyprus Open is well underway and I'll be back later with a look a that one at the halfway stage but for now I'm going to focus on the Bermuda Championship, where Peter Malnati leads by a stroke after an eight-under-par 63.

Having written in the preview about how important a fast start was going to be here, given how windy the weather is going to be over the next few days, I wanted to have a good look at the leaders after round one. Making up ground in blustery conditions isn't going to be easy and having shots in hand at this stage is a huge plus.

I'm happy enough with that start of pre-event pick, Stewart Cink, and both Find Me a 100 Winner picks have started OK but I thought the leader was a fair price this morning given his stats.

Malnati is finding fairways and greens and he's still putting well. I was a little concerned before the off that he may have cooled off having not been eligible for the last couple of events - the CJ Cup and the ZOZO Championship - and it would have been no surprise if he wasn't able to carry on his excellent form that saw him finish second in the Sanderson Farms Championship and fifth in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open but he's picked up from where he left off.

He has the disadvantage today of an afternoon tee-time as the forecast does suggest a very slight increase in wind speed as the day goes on but that's not enough of a drawback to put me off and if can just play the par fives a bit better today (played them in +1 yesterday!) then he could very easily still be in front this time tomorrow.

Cyprus Open Pre-Event Selections:
Andy Sullivan @ 18.017/1
Joakim Lagergren @ 50.049/1
Nicolas Colsaerts @ 50.049/1

Bermuda Championship Pre-Event Selection:
Stewart Cink @ 65.064/1

In-Play Picks:
Peter Malnati @ 8.415/2
Denny McCarthy @ 16.5

Find Me a 100 Winner Picks:
Bermuda Championship
Back Hudson Swafford 2u @ 180.0179/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1

Back Brice Garnett 2u @ 120.0119/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1


Cyprus Open
Back Steven Brown 2u @ 190.0189/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1


*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter

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