We reach the halfway mark in the Rolex Series on Sunday when the Irish Open draws to a conclusion and with another huge stack of cash on the line and all the benefits that go with it for those in contention it is a big day at Ballyliffen.
Even those who are not deep in the mix have enough to play for with the deep prizes going quite far down the field so it should be a wonderful finale to what has been a really good week of links golf thus far.
Round 3 Recap
At the end of a low scoring moving day it is Erik van Rooyen who has shot clear of the field to lead by four strokes on 14 under the card. Joakim Lagergren and Ryan Fox are his nearest competitors on ten under par with Danny Willett a shot further back on nine under and Russell Knox the only other man within six of the lead. He begins the final round on eight under.
It was a good day for us betting wise with Ryan Fox proving to be three shots too good for his playing partner Matthieu Pavon to bring in our two ball bet while George Coetzee kept himself hanging onto the pack and could deliver a place for us at a decent price if he can put together a decent final round.
With nobody in genuine contention to win the tournament I was going to get involved again in the market on Sunday but in truth it is hard to see van Rooyen throwing this one away so someone is going to have to go and get him and there just isn’t much value given that I only see three players in genuine striking distance. If I was confident in any way that the South African would throw it away I might have considered Russell Knox to go and win the tournament but I don’t think that way so I’ll leave the outright market alone and head for the two balls.
Sunday 2 Balls
The final group out onto the golf course sees Erik van Rooyen out alongside Joakim Lagergren with them teeing off at 12.54 BST while ten minutes before that Ryan Fox and Danny Willett head off in search of their first Rolex Series titles. Much earlier in the day the crowds are sure to flock in for Rory McIlroy. He goes out along with Aaron Rai in a group for the galleries to enjoy before the leaders head out onto the course. It is the final pair which has my betting interest.
Erik van Rooyen vs Joakim Lagergren
Match tees off at 12.54 BST
The final two out on Sunday is a little bit of a clash in that Erik van Rooyen will be going in search of his first European Tour event while Joakim Lagergren will be looking for a second one of the campaign which may well actually give the Swede a little bit of an advantage on his playing partner.
When you look at these two statistically you wonder how there is four shots between them because they are very similar in most of the major categories for the week. That makes me think that this one could come down to mindset and comfort of performing late on a Sunday which leads me towards Lagergren here. He has challenged for a couple of events this season and came out on top in a tight Rocco Forte Open which should have him primed nicely for this. When you consider van Rooyen doesn’t need to focus on birdies, he can pretty much play par golf and win this, the opportunity for Lagergren to beat him is there whether the Swede ultimately wins the tournament or not.
Back J.Lagergren to beat E.van Rooyen for a 4/10 stake at 2.10 with Ladbrokes