The third major trophy of the season will be hoisted aloft on Sunday night after the final round of the US Open has been played out in Los Angeles and with the Hollywood sign as the backdrop to the course it is fitting there is a stellar cast list looking to win the tournament.
There are a number of household names gathered at the top of the leaderboard each with the same aim, to be the man who sits at the very top of it at the end of the day and add a major title to their collection or win one for the first time.
Round 3 Recap
Rickie Fowler went into the third round as the holder of a one shot lead but a bogey on the final hole means that he will enter the final round tied for the lead with Wyndham Clark with those two looking to secure a first major title on Sunday. That will keep Rory McIlroy interested as he begins the day one back on nine under. Scottie Scheffler is a further two shots back on seven under with Harris English the only other player within four shots of the lead going into the final round.
This tournament continues to frustrate from a match betting point of view. It looked like we were going to claw some of the losses back on Saturday when Cameron Smith was in good position to beat Scottie Scheffler after 15 holes only to see the world number one hole from the fairway for eagle on 17 before birdieing the last. To compound our Saturday misery, English tied for the lead after 10 holes but couldn’t sustain his form to hold onto the third round lead.
There are a few markets to go at on Sunday. The main one is obviously the outright market but if you are getting involved in that then you need to be a bit of a psychologist to know how Rickie Fowler and Wyndham Clark are going to cope when holding onto the 54 hole lead in an event of this stature. Clearly they are going to be nervous which brings Rory McIlroy into play but his last two Sundays have seen him in contention and he has been terrible which isn’t great. That leaves Scottie Scheffler but how much value there is on him when he has a three shot gap to make up remains to be seen. Unfortunately the rest are too far behind the leading pair for both of them to drop right out of contention so there isn’t even many openings for the rest were we to get involved in the top five market. I’ll head to the two balls for Sunday.
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Sunday 2 Balls
The field go out in pairs for the final round which means that the last group out for the second day in succession are Rickie Fowler and Wyndham Clark. They will be on the first tee at 22.30 BST with the marquee pairing of Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler out 11 minutes prior to that at 22.19 BST. The TV coverage covers pretty much the entire day so those pairings who will entertain us throughout the earlier part of the final round include Brooks Koepka alongside Tyrrell Hatton at 20.24 BST and Matt Fitzpatrick out with fellow major champion Collin Morikawa at 20.57 BST. It is that penultimate group where my bet comes.
Scottie Scheffler vs Rory McIlroy
Match tees off at 22.19 BST
The pick of the groups out onto the golf course on Sunday is the second to last one which sees the world number one Scottie Scheffler going in search of a first US Open title alongside the man who is after a first major in almost a decade in Rory McIlroy.
My hunch is that Scheffler wins this tournament now but rather than risk one of the top two getting away from him over the opening nine given that they begin the day three ahead of him, I think I’ll play safe and take him to win this two ball. McIlroy has played well this week but he had done that at Muirfield Village and then had nothing on Sunday and the same was the case in Canada last week and if he is slightly off his game around here he will get found out. There were one or two errors with the irons on Saturday which has been one of the things which has held him back recently and if they come to pass here and he leaves himself in bad spots it will be a problem. Scheffler has played pretty well all week and has the temperament for this occasion. The only thing that has let him down this week is a cold putter but we saw him on the range on Saturday just knocking a few of those in and I expect his best here. That should be enough to take care of McIlroy regardless of whether it wins the tournament or not.
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