11:15 - April 24, 2022
The third round of the ISPS Handa Championship in Spain has just been completed and the in-form South African, Hennie Du Plessis, and Spain's Adrain Otaegai have caught Canada's Aaron Cockerill. Here's the 54-hole leaderboard with prices to back at 11:10.
Adrian Otaegui -10 4.3100/30
Hennie Du Plessis -10 5.85/1
Aaron Cockerill -10 7.613/2
Antoine Rozner -9 6.611/2
Andrew Wilson -8 29.028/1
Pablo Larrazabal -7 20.019/1
Ross Fisher -7 32.031/1
Scott Jamieson -7 32.031/1
Haotong Li -7 34.033/1
Mike Lorenzo-Vera -7 34.033/1
Yannik Paul -7 46.045/1
Jack Senior -7 48.047/1
-6 and 65.064/1 bar
Otaegui is the man to beat according to the market after he finished his third round with birdies at 16 and 17 this morning but he'll be disappointed not to be in front having parred the last.
The par five 18th is going to have a say in the final outcome later today and it's a hole that Cockerill eagled yesterday.
As highlighted in Matt's tweet below, those that finished their third rounds yesterday certainly caught a break and Cockerill wasn't the only one to make up lots of ground before the weather delay. China's Haotong Li birdied his last six holes!
The likes of Li and Cockerill have had the advantage of a good rest and a lie in this morning but anyone that's returned to the course this morning has had the advantage of getting a feel for the conditions.
Both scenarios have their merits, but I'd just favour those that have played this morning and the one I like is Pablo Larrazabal who returned to the track to par his last three holes of round three.
Larrazabal is a tremendous wind exponent, and he won't be lacking for support this afternoon with friends and family cheering him on.
Having won the MyGolfLife Open as recently as March, the 38-year-old Spaniard won't be short of confidence and he looks fairly priced at around 20/1 to win his seventh DP World Tour event, just a month after his sixth.
09:25 - April 24, 2022
The weather is doing its level best to spoil the ISPS Handa Championship in Spain. A lengthy delay on Thursday after heavy rain disrupted the first two rounds and we lost more than four hours yesterday due to a hailstorm and the threat of lightning.
The third round has resumed this morning and the halfway leader, Scott Jamieson, has just triple-bogeyed the 12th to fall behind Canada's Aaron Cockerill, who fired an eight-under-par 62 from off the pace before the weather delay yesterday.
Matched at 1000.0 in-running, the pre-event 220.0219/1 shot currently leads by a stroke but with no live coverage until 13:00 UK time I'm leaving the event alone for now.
If I get the chance, I'll update again with a round to go but it's a typically tough to predict DP World Tour event and not being able to watch the crucial stages of the third round just makes it even tougher.
It's very frustrating that Sky don't go live with their coverage when tournaments get disrupted like this and when we witness so many mistakes on the official leaderboard, discretion is definitely the better part of valour.
Guido Migliozzi had his score amended on Friday, with a triple-bogey on the treacherous 12th added to his score hours after he'd been matched at 11.010/1 so betting on the strength of the scores alone isn't without risk.
Over on the PGA Tour, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele shot 28 on the back nine at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans yesterday, birdying eight of the nine holes, and they've extended their lead to five.
Here's the 54-hole leaderboard with prices to back at 9:20.
Cantlay/Schauffele -29 1.21/5
Grace/Higgo -24 23.022/1
Burns/Horschel -23 18.5
Day/Scrivener -23 48.047/1
Lipsky/Rai -23 55.054/1
Clark/Tringale -22 80.079/1
-20 and 500.0499/1 bar
It's extremely hard to see the leaders getting caught now. The first few holes will tell us how the final round is going to pan out but with such a commanding lead, it's highly likely that a safe and conservative round will see them lift the trophy so it's time to move on and start with the research for next week.
07:45 - April 23, 2022
As suspected before the off, there was a draw bias in favour of those drawn PM-AM at the ISPS Handa Championship in Spain over the first two days with the latter starters on day one averaging exactly a stroke and half less than those that teed off first on Thursday but that didn't stop Scotland's Scott Jamieson.
From the wrong side of the draw, the 38-year-old backed up his opening 66 with a very impressive 63 in round two and he heads into the weekend with a two-shot lead. Here's the 36-hole leaderboard with prices to back at 7:30.
Scott Jamieson -11 4.1
Tapio Pulkkanen -9 10.09/1
Adrian Otaegui -8 10.519/2
Rasmus Hojgaard -7 8.27/1
Johannes Veerman -7 16.015/1
Lukas Nemecz -7 30.029/1
David Law -7 30.029/1
Richard Mansell -7 34.033/1
Thorbjorn Olesen -6 30.029/1
Hennie Du Plessis -6 34.033/1
Ashley Chesters -6 100.099/1
-5 and 44.043/1 bar
This is the sixth time Jamieson has been leading at the halfway stage of a 72-hole DP World Tour event and his record is dire.
Since winning the Nelson Mandela Championship ten years ago - a now defunct tournament that was reduced by rain to just 36 holes - Jamieson has led or been tied for the lead five times and his finishing positions read a very poor 22-14-42-21-10.
Prior to that sole success in South Africa, he led another reduced event, the 2011 Scottish Open after two rounds, before finishing third. That edition was shortened to 54 holes, but Jamieson was still beaten by five. And prior to that, he finished 17th in the Wroclaw Open on the Challenge Tour after being tied for the lead at halfway in 2009.
I'm not remotely interested in backing Jamieson at around 3/1 and he looks worth taking on in the Top 5 Finish market at around 1.75/7.
If Jamieson is to fail again, the man most likely to benefit is the pre-event favourite, Rasmus Hojgaard, who came into the event on the back of a couple of decent efforts on the PGA Tour, where he finished sixth at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship and 18th in the Valero Texas Open.
The 21-year-old Dane will be eager to secure his fourth DP World Tour event given his twin, Nicolai, has won twice since he last tasted success, at the Omega European Masters in August.
Hojgaard is an industry-best 11/2 with the Sportsbook so the 8.07/1 plus available on the exchange is more than fair.
Over on the PGA Tour, the first-round leaders, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, have maintained their lead at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and they've shortened up further in the market as a result. Here's the 36-hole leaderboard with prices to back at 7:35.
Cantlay/Schauffele -17 2.546/4
Lipsky/Rai -16 10.519/2
Ryder/Redman -16 13.012/1
Clark/Tringale -15 12.5
Grace/Higgo -15 15.014/1
Burns/Horschel -14 7.26/1
Day/Scrivener -14 30.029/1
Leishman/Smith -11 30.029/1
-11 and 60.059/1 bar
I'm not a huge fan of this format and I'm happy to leave this one alone for now.
It's a strange looking leaderboard with a huge gap of three strokes separating the top-seven pairings and the rest of the field.
The format returns to fourballs today so the scoring will be considerably lower than it was yesterday and there's the potential for ground to be made up, but the leaders fired a 59 between them on Thursday and it's odds-on that at least one of the top-seven teams will go super low again today.
We probably need to concentrate on the leading pack and it's very hard to look past the leaders.
The market points to Sam Burns and Billy Horschel as the most likely to succeed if the front two fail and rightly so. Horschel won the event from seven back at this stage alongside Scott Piercy back in 2018 and Burns brings recent winning form to the table.
If forced to make a selection at this stage, I'd plump for that pairing at odds in excess of 6/1 but I'm more than happy to leave it alone and see what today brings.
09:45 - April 22, 2022
Those drawn to start the ISPS Handa Championship in Spain yesterday afternoon have had to return to the course this morning to finish up their first rounds and we have a bit of a messy picture to evaluate this morning.
Far more rain than was expected fell on Wednesday night/Thursday morning and the start of the tournament was delayed by a couple of hours.
The course was playing fast and firm in practice but it's a lot softer after the deluge, although the thick rough is still a challenge and finding fairways is important.
Afternoon starters, Tapio Pulkkanen, Hennie Du Plessis and Matt Cooper's each-way fancy, Jahannes Veerman, shot the lowest opening rounds (six-under-par 66s) and it looks like the PM-AM wave will be advantaged once we reach the halfway stage.
Scotland's David Law was the only morning starter to better four-under-par yesterday and the current leaderboard is dominated with those drawn late-early and out on the track at present. I'll be back this evening with a look at the sate of play at the halfway stage.
Over at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the pre-event favourites, Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland, raced to an early lead and after they'd played their first nine holes in six-under-par they were matched at a low of 4.216/5 but they lost their way after that.
A birdie at the second (their 11th) saw them get to -7 but they played the remaining seven holes in level-par and they trail the first round leaders, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, by six!
Cantlay and Schauffele now dominate the market but they look a bit short at around 5/2.
We've had four previous renewals of the event in this format, we're yet to see first round leaders go on to win, and two pairings have won after fairly slow starts.
Last year's winners, Marc Leishman and Cam Smith, were trailing by just a stroke and that was also the case when Smith and Jonas Blixt won in extra time back in 2017 but the other winners trailed by four and five strokes after round one.
Things can change in today's foursomes format with both players required to play nicely so I'm happy to sit on my hands for now and see what today brings. Looking back at the previous renewals in this format, it's very easy to slip back after a fast start.
Brice Garnett and Scott Stallings went from tied first to 31st and six back last year and in 2018, the Chinese pairing of Xinjun Zhang and Zecheng Dou followed an opening 60 with a second round of 80 to miss the cut!
Obviously, Cantlay and Schauffele are on a different level to those two pairings but their performances demonstrate how much harder this format is and how quickly things can change.
Zurich Classic Pre-Event Selections:
Morikawa/Hovland @ 10.519/2
Homa/Gooch @ 29.028/1
Willett/Hatton @ 48.047/1
ISPS Handa Championship in Spain Pre-event Pick:
Nicolai Hojgaard @ 32.031/1
Rasmus Hojgaard @ 8.27/1
Find Me a 100 Winner Selections:
2 pts Markus Kinhult @ 130.0129/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1
1.5 pts Sebastian Soderberg @ 140.0139/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1
1 pt Werenski/Uihlein @ 240.0239/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1
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