15:05 - November 16 2014
Brooks Koepka has edged out Ian Poulter to win the Turkish Airlines Open and that's great news for followers of our nicely profitable each-way column as the 33/1 shot was Paul Krishnamurty's fancy this week. I'll have more on that tomorrow but for now I'm going to concentrate on the state of play in Mexico.
The halfway leader of the OHL Classic, Michael Putnam, shot an appalling six-over-par 77 to tumble outside the top-25 and Jason Bohn has taken up the running. Here's the third round leaderboard with prices to back as at 14:50 UK time.
Jason Bohn -15 2.47/5
Shawn Stefani -14 4.216/5
Charley Hoffman -12 10.09/1
Alex Cejka -12 16.015/1
Jerry Kelly -11 20.019/1
Danny Lee -1126.025/1
Ken Duke -1127.026/1
Andres Gonzales -11 34.033/1
Fred Funk -10 110.0109/1
-9 and 140.0139/1 Bar
Jason Bohn is an understandably short price now but it looks about right to me. He's only ever held an advantage with a round to go once on the PGA Tour and he successfully converted - at the 2010 Zurich Classic. In the seven editions of this event to date, three of six clear third round leaders have converted and Mark Wilson won in 2009, having been tied at the top with Bo Van Pelt through three rounds. And on the PGA Tour since 1996, players holding a one stroke lead have won 36% of the time. Bohn should arguably be fractionally shorter than he is but I'm happy to leave him alone and the same can be said of his nearest challenger...
Shawn Stefani is still looking for his first PGA Tour win but there's no reason to think it won't be long and it may well be today. He impressed me in-the-mix in June when he lost in a playoff to Justin Rose at the Quicken Loans National and he's won impressively twice on the Web.com Tour. Given there's a break of two strokes back to Charley Hoffman and Alex Cejka in tied third, should Bohn stutter, the 4.216/5 available about Stefani could soon look big but the value looks to be elsewhere to me.
Having backed the experienced Hoffman yesterday at 32.031/1, I'm obviously happy to have him onside, and I've now added Andres Gonzales at an even bigger price. I'm not really sure why he's considered the least likely of the four men tied for fifth and four off the lead and I thought 34.033/1 was more than fair.
It's a tricky puzzle to solve and I'm erring on the side of caution but I quite like Gonzales at the price. Like Stefani, Gonzales is also looking to win on the PGA Tour for the first time but given he too has won twice on the Web.com Tour, he appears to have been slightly overlooked here.
I'll be back tomorrow with my De-Brief.
16:45 - November 15, 2014
Having spent far too long scrutinising the halfway leaderboard at the OHL Classic, I could very easily have left the event alone until tomorrow. Michael Putnam leads on -12 at halfway, with Shawn Stefani and Jason Bohn tied for second on -11, Ken Duke is fourth on -10, and a group of four players are tied for fifth on -9.
The stats suggest being up with the pace is where you need to be, with five of the six event winners to date being in the top-five at halfway, but as hard as I tried I couldn't find anyone up there that I wanted to side with. I fancy there's just enough juice in Charley Hoffman's price of 32.031/1 however and I've had a very small wager on him. He's amongst the group of seven players that are tied for ninth and five back so he needs to get a shift on today but he's more than capable. The leaders tee-off at 17:05 UK time and it's live on Sky (behind the red button) at 19:00.
Against all odds, round three of the Turkish Airlines Open has been completed and we're back on track for a sensational final round tomorrow morning - live on Sky from 8:30. Here's the third round leaderboard with prices to back as at 16:30.
Wade Ormsby -12 8.415/2
Lee Westwood -11 5.04/1
Ian Poulter -11 5.14/1
Marcel Siem -11 7.06/1
Brooks Koepka -10 10.09/1
Danny Willett -10 11.521/2
Miguel Angel Jimenez -9 38.037/1
Shane Lowry -8 34.033/1
Peter Uihlein -8 42.041/1
Eddie Pepperell -8 65.064/1
Hennie Otto -8 90.089/1
Andy Sullivan -8 90.089/1
John Daly -8 160.0159/1
-7 and 100.099/1 Bar
With a lead of six at the completion of round two, Ian Poulter was very much in command at the halfway stage and it's no surprise to see he was matched at as low as 1.68/13 this morning but after a scruffy error-strewn third round, he trails Australia's Wade Ormsby by a stroke and he's not even favourite anymore - fellow Englishman, Lee Westward, now narrowly heads the market, so let's start there.
The Worksop Wonder scythed through the field today with a five-under-par 67 but the question is, can he carry that momentum on now that he's in with a great chance of winning? I very much doubt it. Although he's converted large third round leads, since getting the better of Poults in the 2007 British Masters, when the pair trailed Mark Foster after three rounds by two before finishing first and second, Westwood has been within two of the lead with a round to go a total of 20 times and he's failed to convert every time. He's far from reliable in-contention, shouldn't be favourite and is easily opposable, and so is Poults.
Today started early for Poulter, who was taking photos of the lightning for his Twitter followers before six and I think he may have been anticipating an interrupted day's play and a three-round event. What he wouldn't have been expecting was the entire field completing three rounds and him losing the lead. It's going to take a monumental effort to raise his game again tomorrow and although I'd definitely favour him over Westwood, I don't want to back him.
The current leader, Ormsby, has never won on the European Tour and has never impressed me in-the-mix so it's no surprise to see him trading as high as he is and the one I like is the man alongside Poults and Westwood - Marcel Siem.
The German has held his form well after winning the BMW Masters just two weeks ago and I can easily see him freewheeling to victory again on a course that really suits his length. I managed to back him modestly at an average of 13.012/1 as he finished up his third round but he's a perfectly fair price now at 7.06/1.
Having picked out Bubba Watson for the each-way column last week, Paul Krishnamurty has another chance of a winner this week with another American, Brooks Koepka, but he keeps making silly mistakes either off the tee or on the green and at just 11.010/1, he makes little appeal now.
I thought this track would suit Danny Willett but the fact that he was ill on arrival in Turkey put me off so I'm a bit miffed that he's bang there with a round to go but just like Koepka, he doesn't look a value price at this stage. He's still only won once on the European Tour and at just one shot further back and at three times the price, I much prefer round one leader, Miguel Angel Jimenez. The Spanish legend will enjoy the improved weather forecasted tomorrow and he looks a decent price at around 40.039/1.
I haven't completely given up on pre-event pick, Shane Lowry, who was disappointing today, but at the same time I'm not expecting anything. He bogeyed the easy par 5 18th twice today, first thing this morning when finishing up round two and again in the fading light at the close of round three. Had he birdied it instead he'd have been tied for the lead and it's not really surprising that he was matched at just 6.05/1 in-running today. He was given a chance by Poults today but after racing to two-under-par through five, he shot level par in round three and looks to have blown his chance.
According to the market, Lowry's the most likely winner of those players sitting on -8 and four off the lead but the value amongst that bunch looks to be with Hennie Otto, who I was happy to take a small chance on at 100.099/1.
I'll be back tomorrow with one last look at the OHL Classic.
12:30 - November 14, 2014
Efforts to resume have been thwarted by the weather at the Turkish Airlines Open and play has been suspended for the day.
12.15 - November 14, 2014
Starting with Shane Lowry in the Turkish Airlines Open, who began the event with three bogeys in his first four holes, yesterday was just a series of disappointments. Of my other two pre-event picks in Turkey, Alexander Levy never really got going and shot a four-under-par 68 to trail round one leader, Miguel Angel Jimenez, by five strokes and Pablo Larrazabal, after catching fire, playing five holes in six-under-par mid round, was very much a damp squib in the end - shooting 70.
At the OHL Classic, most of my pre-event fancies got themselves into a decent position but apart from Justin Thomas, who shot a four-under-par 67 to sit two off the lead, they all fell away again...
Fabian Gomez ended the day on one-under-par, having been five-under through seven holes and Zachary Blair also ended the day on one-under, having been three-under through five. Justin Hicks was also three-under-par at one stage but finished the day on level and John Rollins bogeyed his last three holes to match Hicks' achievement. It felt like wave after wave of disappointment but it goes like that sometimes and when I woke up this morning it looked like things might improve.
Levy opened up his second round in Turkey with an eagle and a birdie to close to within three and Shane Lowry, who did well to end day one on two-under-par, did even better, playing the first five holes in five-under-par. Were things about to get dramatically better? No.
Play has been suspended thanks to thunder and lightning but before the stoppage, Levy gave back all his three strokes gained and Lowry played his next eight holes in level par. Ian Poulter, who was my main fancy for this event 12 months ago, is three clear of Brendon de Jonge and it looks like one of those days might lead to one of those weeks. They are due to go out again at 12:40 UK time but with the forecast not great, they might not get to play for long.
With more bad weather forecast for tomorrow too, the possibility that the event may be reduced to just 54 holes must be considered so Poulter, who leads by three, is already trading at a prohibitive price - 2.166/5 to win - but he's not for me. He was slightly disappointing last week when in-the-mix and he was tied for the lead here at halfway last year before he finished a well-beaten fifth. He has a tremendous record at this time of year but he's won just one strokeplay event (the HSBC Champions in 2012) in the last four years and winning this might not be straightforward. First round leader, Jimenez has shown what can happen if you take your foot off the gas here - he and Poulter have both played 14 holes of round two and despite birdying his first two holes, the Spaniard now trails the Englishman by five strokes.
Poulter is in the driving seat and he's most certainly the man to beat but at less than 2.56/4, I can happily leave him alone so it's a no bet heat for me at present. And with 20 players separated by a stroke, the same can be said of the tournament in Mexico. I'll take another look at that one at the halfway stage and I'll be back tomorrow with my thoughts.
Turkish Airlines Open Pre-Event Selections:
Alex Levy @ 36.035/1
Shane Lowry @ 55.054/1
Pablo Larrazabal @ 100.099/1
Marcel Siem @ 13.012/1
Miguel Angel Jimenez @ 38.037/1
Hennie Otto @ 100.099/1
OHL Classic Pre-Event Selections:
Mark Wilson @ 55.054/1
Justin Thomas @ an average of 70.069/1
Camilo Villegas @ 80/1 (Sportsbook)
Fabian Gomez @ 120.0119/1
John Rollins @ 150.0149/1
Justin Leonard @ 180.0179/1
Justin Hicks @ 200.0199/1
Zachary Blair @ 220.0219/1
Charley Hoffman @ 32.031/1
Andres Gonzales @ 34.033/1
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