The Irish Open has reached the halfway stage which means we have dumped more than half the field and with only eight shots separating those who made the cut and the leaders literally anyone can still win this tournament.
They call the third round on Saturday ‘Moving Day’ and it will be interesting to see who makes the biggest moves as those left in the event look to position themselves up for a huge pay day on Sunday.
Round 2 Recap
After 36 holes of the tournament it is the South African player Zander Lombard who heads the way on nine under par. He leads by one from our pre-tournament outright bet Eddie Pepperell who is perfectly placed for us heading into the second half of the competition. Three other men sit two off the lead on seven under. They include Lee Westwood, Abraham Ancer and Jorge Campillo while six other men, three off the lead include Thorbjorn Olesen. The defending champion Russell Knox is in a group a little further back on five under.
We made a profit on the second round courtesy of level staking a couple of three ball bets. Sadly Robert Karlsson got nowhere near winning his but Marcus Kinhult was far too good for his playing partners which delivered a profit on the day which hopefully we can build on throughout the weekend.
We have a third round leader market but I’m not sure I want to get too involved in it because the man I think will lead, the one I want to lead at the 54 hole mark I’m already on outright in Eddie Pepperell. This is still a relatively bunched leaderboard though and so there is no guarantee Pepperell will lead and even if he does he is currently the 3/1 favourite to do so at the time of writing so we’re not exactly going to get rich backing him.
There could be a bit of value in Jorge Campillo at 9/1 given the wonderful round of golf he put in on Friday but it is rare that a player follows up an excellent 18 holes with another one so even then I’m reluctant to back him. I’m going to leave this market alone and head to the Saturday groups for my betting fix in the third round.
Saturday 2 Balls
The field is now down to two balls for the rest of the tournament. The last pair out onto the golf course is the one featuring Eddie Pepperell and Zander Lombard. They tee off at 12.50 BST with Abraham Ancer and Jorge Campillo out 10 minutes earlier. Lee Westwood and Andy Sullivan will be a popular pair for the crowds to follow. I’ll go with one bet over the course of this third round.
Brandon Stone vs Niklas Lemke
Match tees off at 12.10 BST
One of the later groups out onto the course on Saturday sees the Scottish Open champion Brandon Stone going out alongside the Swedish star who is making a name for himself on the European Tour this year in Niklas Lemke, with both men looking for a low round to really catapult themselves into the mix on Sunday.
Stone has already won a tournament on a links course, a Rolex Series event no less so he knows how to get it done at this level which I think could be a big thing here. My gut tells me that Lemke will be a decent player in the game in the future but this might come too soon for that and I wonder if he’ll cope with the strain of this round. Statistically he doesn’t match up to Stone this week which I always think is a big thing in these direct matches so at even money I’m happy to be on the South African here.
Back B.Stone to beat N.Lemke for a 4/10 stake at 2.00 with Betfred
Back him here: