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We’ve reached the halfway stage of the 149th Open Championship and with the wind proving far less of a factor than initially forecast a host of big names have taken advantage and played themselves into position to land the Claret Jug.
Top of the pile through two rounds is the man who has finished Runner Up in the two most recent Majors, Louis Oosthuizen. The man who bagged his lone Major to date at St Andrews in 2010 sits on 11- under par, a record low 36 hole score for the event.
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However with Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, John Rahm and Brooks Koepka, to name but five, all within six shots of the lead going into Saturday the South African will surely feel the heat from behind on moving day.
So, with a mouth-watering round three in prospect let’s see if we can pick out some value in today’s two ball pairings.
The below four legs in a Paddy Power acca pays out at approximately 10/1. CLICK HERE TO PLACE THE BET.
Open golf tips
The first pairing to catch my eye is that of former Masters Champion Danny Willett and Brian Harman who tee off at 2.10pm and it is Willett who I am keen on here.
Harman flew out of the blocks on Thursday to be five-under for his first eight holes, however since then he has played his following 28 holes in +1, and on Friday hit under 60% of both his fairways and greens with his short game getting him out of trouble.
Willett’s record in the Open is strong with two top-six finishes and only one missed cut in his last five starts in the event, while Harman has only made one cut in five visits and with the course expected to firm up more in to Saturday I anticipate the Englishman’s greater links pedigree to prove the difference.
Teeing off straight after this pair at 2.20pm we have a clash of styles with the metronome-like ball striking of Corey Conners up against the short game magic of Cameron Smith and it is the Aussie Smith that I will give the nod to.
Conners did what he is known for best on Friday hitting plenty of greens and making only one bogey in his 68, however, tellingly Smith is also striking the ball well this week and on Friday he actually hit more fairways than the Canadian and only a fraction fewer greens. As you would expect though his putter was stronger than Conners’ and with the Aussie likely to relish Saturday’s firmer conditions I would expect his superiority on the greens to be the difference.
Moving on to the final few pairings and I cannot resist including the world number one Dustin Johnson when he tees off at 3.35pm alongside Scottie Scheffler.
Scheffler of course is a star in the making in his own right and whilst he is yet to win on the PGA Tour he has already produced some superb performances in the Majors.
In Johnson though needless to say we have a player who has huge experience and pedigree in the Open and who threatened to win here in 2011 and there is no doubt that his 65 on Friday, in which he found nearly 80% of his fairways and greens, was a big warning shot to the field.
I don’t expect Scheffler to fade hugely however I expect Johnson to push on and get right in the hunt for Sunday and he looks a solid play here at the odds.
Finally to wrap things up whilst admittedly not a very risky selection I will boost our acca by taking Jordan Spieth to see off Dylan Frittelli in the penultimate group when they tee off at 3.45pm.
Spieth who lifted the Claret Jug at Birkdale in 2017 and is a self-confessed lover of links golf admitted after his round on Friday to a level of frustration as he felt the way he had struck the ball he could have shot something far lower than the 67 he eventually posted if the putter had cooperated more.
Nevertheless the three-time Major Champion finds himself in an ideal position to make a move on Saturday and with the form he has been in this year you would expect him to do so.
Frittelli has been having a really tough time of late on the PGA Tour so this performance has come pretty much from nowhere and while he should have an air of comfortability playing alongside his old Texas college teammate I expect Spieth to have way too much for him.
Open golf Day 3 tips
Danny Willett to beat Brian Harman
Cameron Smith to beat Corey Conners
Dustin Johnson to beat Scottie Scheffler
Jordan Spieth to beat Dylan Frittelli
The above four legs in a Paddy Power acca pays out at approximately 10/1 with Paddy Power. CLICK HERE TO PLACE THE BET.
If one leg of your 4+ fold Acca lets you down, you get up to £/€10 back as a free bet. Customers can qualify for 1 Acca Insurance per day up to £/€10. The free bets will be credited by 12pm the following day.
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