We have reached the halfway stage of the Italian Open and on Saturday we have ‘Moving Day’ and for most of the field there is a significant move to be made too. Friday was another day of low scoring and that is expected to continue throughout the week so we should see much of the same on Saturday.
The field is seriously condensed and it is no exaggeration to say that anyone who has made the cut could still win this tournament with 36 holes left to play so Saturday feels like a significant day in the second Rolex Series event of the year.
They say class rises to the top in these Rolex Series events and that is certainly the case here as the top six are all Ryder Cup stars. Martin Kaymer leads the event on 11 under with Graeme McDowell, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Danny Willett, Thomas Pieters and Francesco Molinari all a shot further back. Haotong Li, Thorbjorn Olesen and Erik van Rooyen are among the players in a group on nine under. The cut came at four under so just seven shots separate the field heading into the weekend.
It was a frustrating day for us from a betting point of view on Friday as we had to settle for another dead heat when Thorbjorn Olesen could only tie with his two playing partners while Lucas Bjerregaard lost his three ball by one shot.
There are a couple of big markets to bet on for Saturday and Sunday. The third round leader market is almost impossible to bet on though because the field is so tightly bunched. 30 players are within four of the lead and any one of them could go low in the conditions and find themselves leading going into Sunday but with the six stars at the top of the leaderboard it is a pretty tight market. I’ve got three through to the weekend so I don’t need to go back into the outright market either so I’ll head to the three balls for a bet.
Saturday 3 Balls
Given the number of players that made the cut those still in are out in threes on Saturday with the last group out onto the course, containing Martin Kaymer, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Graeme McDowell, going off at 11.35 BST. Danny Willett, Thomas Pieters and Francesco Molinari go off 10 minutes earlier than that. I’m looking at another group for a bet to keep me entertained throughout the course of Saturday though.
Jens Dantorp/Robert Rock/Dylan Frittelli
Match tees off at 12.05 BST
Maybe the three lesser lights on the leaderboard are all in one group on Saturday afternoon when Jens Dantorp goes out alongside Robert Rock and Dylan Frittelli. The former two tee off on nine under while the South African is a shot further back.
He might be a shot behind the other two but I like Frittelli here. We’ve seen all week that this course is playing long and the South African is the longest of this trio but tee to green he has been much the better. In fact nobody has hit more greens than him and if he had holed anything this week so far he would be well clear of his playing partners. Generally Dantorp and Rock fade away at this stage of big tournaments but I don’t expect that to happen with Frittelli. He’s my pick.
DEAD HEAT – Back D.Frittelli to beat J.Dantorp & R.Rock for a 3/10 stake at 2.38 with Boylesports
Back him here: