11:45 - February 16, 2019
After three rounds of stroke play at the ISPS Handa World Super 6, 11 men played off for the last ten places in tomorrow's 24-man match play element and Tom Murray was the unfortunate one.
One of Paul Krishnamurty's Find Me a 100 Winner picks, Clement Sordet, has made it through to tomorrow and two of our four each-way picks, Paul Dunne and Scott Vincent, have also advanced but I'm regretting getting involved yesterday. Grant Forrest failed to qualify and Adrian Otaegui didn't exactly impress and the Spaniard isn't much shorter in price than he was yesterday. I should have waited.
I'm not going to get any further involved and I'll just shout on Otaegui in the morning but I have had another bet in the Genesis Open.
Having posted a seven-under-par 64, Dave Tindall's First Round Leader pick, Jordan Spieth, looked almost certain to hold sway after the opening round but just when he looked home and hosed, J.B Holmes went and did this at the par three sixth (his 13th) to draw level with Spieth.
He then went on to birdie the seventh and par the eighth and ninth to lead after round one and anyone that followed Dave in can feel extremely hard done by.
Spieth hasn't yet started round two and his good friend, Justin Thomas, is the man to beat now. He and Adam Scot, having played 12 and 11 holes of round two respectively, are tied at the top on -10. Thomas is trading at just 3.3512/5 and that looks short enough to me. Spieth, on the other hand, looks generously priced on the exchange at 7.413/2 given he's no bigger than 11/2 on the High Street and I'm happy to take a small chance on him at that price.
14:25 - February 15, 2019
We've reached the halfway stage of the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Down Under but it feels as though the tournament has barely begun.
The halfway cut has been made and only 66 players progress into the weekend and my sole pre-event pick, Poom Saksansin, isn't one of them. He shot a two-under-par 70 today but his opening 75 was too much of a handicap to overcome so it's back to the drawing board but Paul Krishnamurty's three all made it.
As highlighted in the In-Play Tactics section of the preview, both Lee Westwood, and the defending champ, Brett Rumford, traded at single figure prices at this stage last year, when they led the stroke play element through 36 holes, but both shot 78 on Saturday, and neither progressed to the match play phase.
Remember, only 24 progress to Sunday's match play element so we're a long way from knowing who's going to be still standing this time tomorrow. Caution is most definitely advised at this stage but I've gone ahead and backed a couple regardless.
Grant Forrest was my original each-way pick but I changed my mind when he was cut to 80/1 and I saw how bad some of his recent scrambling stats were. I was a little relieved to see him start the event slowly but I've felt compelled to back him after his sensational seven-under-par 65 today which saw him climb 100 places up in to a tie for 13th. There's obviously a risk that he'll return to Thursday's form tomorrow but I was happy to chance him at 50/1.
Adrian Otaegui's course and current form was nothing to write home about before the off but he could be the one they all have to beat if he can progress. The Spaniard is a stroke ahead of Forrest and two off the lead in a tie for eighth so he's nicely positioned. He has two European Tour titles to date and they're both match play titles. He won the Paul Lawrie Match Play in 2017 and the Belgian Knockout last year so Sunday's showdown should be just his cup of tea.
Round one of the Genesis Open was something of a washout yesterday. Play started early enough but persistent rain soon saw a suspension in play and the unusual decision to scrap the early scoring was made - meaning this incredible par by Phil Mickelson at the short par four 10th has been removed from the records.
Having played 12 holes of round one, one of Dave Tindall's First Round Leader picks, Jordan Spieth is tied for the lead alongside Sung Kang on -5. He's now trading at 7.613/2 for the title so I should be feeling chipper this morning given I wrote the following in the preview,.
"Form is temporary and class is permanent, and it's only a matter of time before Augusta specialist, Jordan Spieth bouncing back. He has some decent form here (12-4-MC-22-9) and he's a tempting proposition given he's shown glimpses of late. I'll be keeping an eye on him tomorrow to see if he drifts"
He most certainly did drift, all the way out to 40.039/1 but muggins here got busy with other stuff and forgot to check until it was all to late! Oops.
I'm going to leave this one alone for now and see what today brings. Spieth will finish off his first round but I very much doubt he'll start his second given the original afternoon starters, that have yet to start at all, will start round two today (weather permitting), as soon as they've finished round one. It's all a bit of a mess and a bit of a shame for such a great event and I'm happy to sit it out for now.
ISPS Handa World Super 6 Pre-Event Selection:
Poom Saksansin @ 80.079/1
Adrian Otaegui @ 18/1 (Sportsbook)
Grant Forrest @ 50/1 (Sportsbook)
Genesis Open Pre-Event Selections:
Phil Mickelson @ 30.029/1
Sergio Garcia @ 65.064/1
Charl Schwartzel @ 400.0399/1
Jordan Spieth @ 7.413/2
*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter