We have reached what is commonly referred to as ‘Moving Day’ at the USPGA Championship over on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island on Saturday when everyone who made the halfway cut gets a chance to position themselves for a tilt at the title on Sunday.
Heading into Saturday just 10 shots separate the leaders from those who just made the cut so on a course like this literally everyone remaining can still walk off with the title. That should provide us with a very exciting Saturday.
Round 2 Recap
We have joint leaders at the end of the second round with our pre-tournament outright pick Louis Oosthuizen sharing the lead on five under alongside the former champion Phil Mickelson. They are a shot clear of Brooks Koepka with a trio of players two off the lead including another of our outright selections Branden Grace, his South African counterpart Christiaan Bezuidenhout and The Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama. Things didn’t go so well for the likes of Justin Thomas, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele. They all missed the cut and will be watching the weekend from home.
It was a much better day for us betting wise on Friday. Brooks Koepka provided us a place in the second round leader market while Rich Beem and Louis Oosthuizen powered to victories in their three balls at decent prices. There was a loser on the day with Sam Horsfield having something of a mare but these results were enough to wipe out the losses of Thursday and get us into the black, which we will hope to build on throughout the weekend.
We have a third round leader market for Saturday but unlike Friday, this time I’m not going to get too involved in it. That is for a couple of reasons. The main one is because I like where I’m sitting on the leaderboard with Oosthuizen tied for the lead and looking in great shape and Grace not too far behind and ready to pounce over the final 36 holes. The other reason why I’m reluctant to get involved is because the wind is set to turn around from what we’ve seen in the first two days which is likely to completely change the course so I’m happy just sitting on my position on the board and hoping that my two can kick on.
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Saturday 2 Balls
The field go out in two balls from here on in with the leading pair of Louis Oosthuizen and Phil Mickelson heading out at 19.40 BST and the penultimate group of Brooks Koepka and Branden Grace going out 10 minutes prior to that. We’ve seen good crowds all week and the coverage has been amazing in terms of length so the earlier stages allow us watching at home and those on the course to see the likes of Billy Horschel and Patrick Reed out at 13.50 BST while a little later Tony Finau and Patrick Cantlay go off at 16.50 BST in an eye catching pairing. Each group has been priced up and there is one bet which catches my eye.
Gary Woodland vs Corey Conners
Match tees off at 19.10 BST
The match I like the look of is the fourth to last pairing out onto the golf course when the former US Open champion Gary Woodland goes up against a man who won the Texas Open as a Monday qualifier a couple of years back in Corey Conners.
Both men will tee off three shots off the lead and will feel they are in with a huge chance of winning the tournament from here on in if they can capitalise on ‘Moving Day’. My sense is that Woodland is the one to be on in this group though. I say that for a couple of reasons. Conners wasn’t great on Friday and made a lot of tee to green errors. That is unusual but actually although he led after the first round it was his putter which got him into that position, and over four rounds history tells us that was never going to keep him in the mix as that is the weakness in his game.
There isn’t really a weakness in the game of Woodland and he could be a big force over this weekend. The talk is that the switch in wind direction will make the course longer and that plays into the hands of Woodland here. We know that if the wind does get up Woodland is fine having won his US Open at Pebble Beach and his short game is very good which you have to have around here. Conners doesn’t naturally impress around the greens and isn’t the longest either. I think there is too much going for Woodland to ignore here.
WON – Back G.Woodland to beat C.Conners for a 3/10 stake at 2.20 with Boylesports
Back him here: