Best three-ball bets for day two
His playing partner Xander Schauffele continues to impress and is probably the value in a three-ball completed by Collin Morikawa, but my idea of the best bet comes in one of the very last groups out, where THOMAS DETRY looks great value at odds-against.
Marco Penge is completely new to this and shot 76 in round one. He struggled badly off the tee and as the Old Course firms up even more, I’d expect those with much more experience and greater control to thrive. Penge, a youngster making his way up the ranks from a low base, will likely struggle again and looks shorter than he should be at 11/4.
Richard Mansell is a player I like, but his long-game was poor in an opening 73. Again, experience is an issue here and as a modern golfer whose driver is perhaps his biggest weapon, firm and fast conditions by the coast aren’t ideal. He will go from strength to strength in the coming years, but for now faces a battle to make the weekend.
Detry, on the other hand, does have loads of experience including here in the Dunhill Links. He’s not what I’d call a classic links golfer either, but second place in last year’s Scottish Open is tangible form under similar conditions and he played well there again last week. That performance bled into his opening 70 and he’ll feel he should’ve gone lower still having made very little.
In fact, Mansell massively outperformed him on the greens, something I wouldn’t expect to continue. So while on a soft, parkland golf course I’d probably expect the Englishman to close the gap from tee-to-green, here it’s the links smarts of Detry which will likely prevail. Having done so comfortably in round one, in what I think is a match, he ought to be odds-on to win this three-ball again in round two.
It’s rare for me to want to be on players who were best on Thursday, because the market typically reacts to one round of golf in a way I don’t necessarily agree with. However, the case for LEE WESTWOOD beating JT Poston and Stephen Dodd once more is very difficult to get away from.
Westwood obviously brings stacks of experience and course form to the table, having played so well here in 2010 in particular. The trouble was we didn’t have much to go on in terms of recent form, as he’s only played LIV Golf events since the US PGA a couple of months ago, hence it made sense to sit tight on Thursday.
After a slow start, however, he played superbly, and with Dodd struggling as expected, it’s a case of whether he can again get the better of Poston. On that score, the American was very poor bar the putter, failing to capitalise on a dream start which had him leading this match by four shots through four holes – the fact Westwood beat him by five in the end says it all.
It’s worth reiterating that Poston was one of the best putters in the field yet shot 73 and as conditions become more severe, that club may not spare him some big numbers, several of which we saw during a back-nine 40.
For the treble, ZANDER LOMBARD simply appeals as overpriced despite some negatives.
He’s a better player than John Parry, yet the Englishman is favourite because of what happened in round one. Parry’s form here in the Dunhill Links and solid Challenge Tour campaign merit respect, but ability remains the best guide and Lombard is a step or so above him in that respect.
Lombard is also a proven links performer, both at amateur and professional level, and precisely the type of player to so easily move from bad to good and back again. Thursday’s 75 was through a combination of bad approach play and putting but these are often strengths of his, and if he continues to drive it as well as he did then it’s reasonable to hope for better.
Anthony Quayle completes the group and like Parry, made more than his share. Again, I would rate him inferior to Lombard, so the South African as underdog makes enough appeal to include in multiples despite not being the most reliable conveyance in the sport.
Of the earlier groups, Thriston Lawrence did the business and ought to do so again, so rates the pick at a slightly shorter price. It’s almost tempting to play the same double, one let down by Gary Woodland, but Paul Casey’s potential fitness problems were a big part of that case and he played too well to believe any real issues remain.
Posted at 2030 BST on 14/07/22
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