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The Punter's In-Play Blog: Leaders under-rated going into Sunday

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy is the halfway favourite at the Omega European Masters
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Paul Krishnamurty updates yesterday's promising positions and analyses the final round leaderboard from Crans...

"At [5.8] and [8.0] respectively, the leading group are about as big as we ever see, yet Andres Romero and Wade Ormsby are experienced, multiple worldwide winners."

1st September, 9am

Leaderboard and prices to back at 09:00;

-14 Andres Romero [5.8]
-13 Wade Ormsby [8.0]
-12 Gavin Green [12.0]
-12 Tommy Fleetwood [4.6]
-11 Rory McIlroy [4.6]
-11 Christian Bezuidenhuit [21.0]
-11 Kalle Samooja [42.0]
-11 Lorenzo Gagli [48.0]
-10 Sergio Garcia [25.0]
-10 Matthias Schwab [50.0]
-10 Renato Paratore [75.0]
-10 Steven Soderberg [100.0]

Yesterday's plan was based around two theories - that it nearly always pays to follow the leaders at Crans-sur-Sierre, and that among the leading sextet at halfway, the world-class pair of Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood were worth taking on due to prohibitive odds.

Thanks to a very dramatic back-nine that saw McIlroy fall back from odds-on [1.4] favoritism, both worked out - the top-four with 18 holes remaining were among that leading sextet. The big-two are bigger odds than 24 hours ago.

The same themes still apply. This leaderboard looks pretty wide-open, with 13 players still within five of the lead and we could well see plenty of market drama today on that very scorable back-nine. However the historic trends suggests we should think twice before backing the chasers.

At [4.6], Rory's odds are very short for a player starting three back around here. In the last 10 renewals, only three winners came from more than two back. And two of those required a play-off to prevail.

At [5.8] and [8.0] respectively, the leading group are about as big as we ever see, yet Andres Romero and Wade Ormsby are experienced, multiple worldwide winners. The former, whilst very erratic, is a class act who contended in multiple majors way back. I don't expect either to completely fold and certainly wouldn't take them on at the current odds.

Earlier bets have already yielded a five unit profit, as we got the combined stake laid back on both Ormsby and Schwab, leaving 'free bets' on both to win 27 and 23 units respectively. My next move is to invest that profit on Romero at [5.8] to return 29, then place lay orders on both the leading group at [2.5].

That does not feel ambitious - how many tournaments do neither of the final group trade down to [2.5]? If either of them get there, I'll be guaranteed 10 units profit with a little extra on the win, plus the potential for more if other lay targets are hit.

See below for full details of the book and scenarios.

Recommended Bets

Back Andres Romero 5u @ [5.8]
Place order to lay both Romero and Ormsby 10u @ [2.5]

Already advised:

Back Matthias Schwab 3u @ [16.0]
Laid Matthias Schwab 5u @ [5.0]
Back Wade Ormsby 2u @ [26.0]
Laid Wade Ormsby 5u @ [5.0]

30th August, 6.30pm

Leaderboard

-11 Gavin Green [13.5]
-10 Rory McIlroy [2.54]
-10 Tommy Fleetwood [4.7]
-10 Matthias Schwab [16.0]
-10 Wade Ormsby [26.0]
-10 Andres Romero [26.0]

For the second time in recent weeks, Malaysia's Gavin Green finds himself atop a European Tour leaderboard. The 25 year-old, unluckily tipped for first round leader by Dave Tindall, is a very plausible first-time winner but he'll have his work cut out fending off a daunting chasing pack.

Fresh off that magnificent Tour Championship victory, Rory McIlroy remains in scintillating form. Today's 63 included three bogeys but the world number two hit back with five under for his last five holes. In contrast Tommy Fleetwood's 65 was bogey-free and he hasn't made one for 28 holes.

It is hard to see the winner coming from outside the top-six. There is a two-shot gap to the rest and, as Steve Rawlings explained pre-tournament, Crans-sur-Sierre has never been an easy course on which to play catch-up. When Matthew Fitzpatrick came from five back at halfway to win a play-off two years ago, he was superior to all five players he passed - none of whom were anywhere near the class of McIlroy and Fleetwood.

Rightly, they take out 60% of the halfway book but neither really stands out as a great value bet. Regardless of last week's brilliance or even Canada, McIlroy has never been the most reliable of weekend converters. Fleetwood hasn't won for the best part of two years. One will probably prevail but they're not certain to have it all their own way.

The two that appeal for a combined trade against them are Matthias Schwab and Wade Ormsby. Steve has a really exciting position on the former - each-way at 80-1 and [150.0] win only - and I am kicking myself at not being on.

I've been regularly backing the Austrian with limited trading success for over a year, in expectation of a breakthrough success. This event - in mainland Europe, with an emphasis on GIR and Scrambling, is just about perfect. Schwab hasn't always been convincing in contention by any means but that is a learning process and we saw last week with Erik Van Rooyen that these prospects get the job done eventually.

Ormsby is experienced, a proven winner of good events - the Hong Kong Open often strikes me as a good corrolator with this - and made the frame last week. He's marginally preferred over Green, who keeps falling back from good starts and the wildly inconsistent Andres Romero.

The trade is nothing too ambitious at this stage. Combined, this bet pays [10.0]. Let's simply look to cover the stake by setting lay orders at [5.0] on both. Theoretically at that level, both could get matched if they can stay with the big-guns.

Recommended Bets

Back Matthias Schwab 3u @ [16.0]
Back Wade Ormsby 2u @ [26.0]

Place orders to lay both players 5u @ [5.0]

Paul Krishnamurty,

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