WHO would have thought the second Ashes Test would have finished before The Open! That’s how it is after England’s cricketers caved in the Aussies at Lord’s while at St Andrews play is extended to Monday for only the second time in the tournament’s 144-year history.
It was all change at the of the leaderboard on Sunday with Dustin Johnson starting out with a one-shot lead and shooting a second worst of the day 75 in benign conditions that produced a birdie blitz from most of the players.
Johnson was 2-1 favourite overnight but is out to 55-1 at Betfred and bet365 after finishing with three bogeys to fall five off the pace set by Louis Oosthuizen, Jason Day and amateur Paul Dunne. Jordan Spieth is a further shot behind with two-time winner Padraig Harrington two off the pace.
At the start of play Ace Venturer and I had the top four in the betting on our anteposts but now it’s two of my picks – Spieth and Oosthuizen – who head the market.
Masters and US Open champion Spieth is back to where he started at the head of the market and is a best 11-4 at Stan James. I hope he or Oosty (15-4, Unibet) lift the Claret Jug but no one within four or five shots can be ruled out.
It’s the biggest day in the life of Irish amateur Dunne but the US student handled the pressure of leading The Open impressively yesterday and I don’t expect him to collapse. Going out in the final group with Oosthuizen, who he played with on Sunday, should help him relax a bit. Still, he is as big as 21-1 at Betway.
Day is 4-1 at Betfred and Adam Scott, in a group of nine players including Justin Rose three behind, is 20-1 at BetVictor and Coral.
My Friday twoball treble was beaten by one of my favourite players Hideki Matsuyama but I’m having another go on Monday. First up it’s Indian star Anirban Lahiri against Scot Paul Lawrie. The former Open champion was in contention until a nightmare finish on Sunday and his body languag suggested he was shot to bits – rising star Lahiri looks big at 11-8.
Add Zach Johnson to finish well and outscore England’s Danny Willett who was hanging on in the final group on Sunday and like Johnson failed to take advantage of no wind.
Complete the treble with Rose against veteran star Retief Goosen. Rose remains in contention with back-to-back 68s while Goosen is three under over his last two rounds after opening with a super 66.
Lahiri bt Lawrie (11.55am)
Z Johnson bt Willett (1.30pm)
Rose bt Goosen (1.50pm)
(13-2, BetVictor, McBookie)