Get with treble in round two

  • By: Ben Coley
  • Last Updated: August 10 2012, 16:13 BST

Seung-Yul Noh: Can win his three-ball again

1.5pts Seung-Yul Noh to win his three-ball at evens (General).

0.5pt treble Noh, Martin Laird and John Senden to win their three-balls at 6.64/1 (Stan James).


Our day one policy for USPGA three-balls was to focus on groups involving club professionals, most of whom were likely to be outclassed, and that certainly proved the case.

None of the 19 PGA professionals managed to break par, with several shooting scores of 80-plus, and many of those rounds were played in near-perfect conditions on Thursday morning.

With that in mind, I'm more than happy to go in again with Seung-Yul Noh who, having beaten Sean O'Hair and Brian Cairns at odds of 11/10 in round one, can still be backed at evens to repeat the trick.

Those of you who read the first preview or indeed follow the PGA Tour closely will know that the Korean, now working with Sean Foley, is in top form right now.

His active streak of 13 cuts made is the fourth best on Tour while the fact that he started this tournament at second in total birdies and ninth in eagles bodes really well for those pinning hopes on his performance over a single round.

An opening knock of 74 does put that cut streak in jeopardy but it was enough to suggest that his game remains in the sort of shape required to outscore O'Hair, who looks out of sorts, and Cairns.

The latter played well to shoot 75 but I fancy that'll be as good as it gets and even with it, he was behind Noh at the end of the first day's play.

My selection has developed a fine habit of scoring well in round two - his average over the last six tournaments is 67.83 and on four of those six occasions his round two score was better than round one - and should be 4/5 at best in my eyes.

The other two I like are Martin Laird and John Senden, so we'll get them in the staking plan too.

Laird put together a solid 71 on Thursday and will know that if he can play the par-fives better he's capable of working his way into contention, which is what he should be doing at this stage of his career.

His length off the tee is a great advantage here and in all three majors so far this season he's improved significantly from the first to the second round.

Whether that fact is worth anything remains to be seen, but I'd take him at evens to beat Pat Perez and Corey Pugh on most courses let alone one that rewards his driving.

With that already in mind, it was Perez's interview after he opened with a round of 69 that convinced me that the Scot is worth backing.

Perez told reporters that he's never felt worse stepping onto the first tee, adding: "I hit some really bad shots today, and they ended up somehow where I could play them."

Of course, the fact that he manufactured such a score speaks volumes of his short game but with the wind set to get up on Friday afternoon, his errant ball-striking will surely be punished.

PGA professional Pugh, meanwhile, failed to make a single birdie in his opening 78 and will struggle once more.

Finally, Senden had what's best described as an up and down first round but ended it well, and he's a decent bet to beat Ken Duke and Michael Frye.

The latter opened with a birdie but followed it with eight bogeys to shoot 79, virtually ensuring that he'll miss the cut, and the gap between club pro and Tour pro will be exaggerated if the wind gets up as expected.

Blowing gales are no problem for Senden, brought up playing the sandy links layouts of the Australian coast, and his second round scoring average of 69.31 is good for seventh on Tour this season.

Duke, a habitual fast starter, isn't far behind in 19th but he lost all momentum during the back nine on Thursday and on balance looks opposable.

He played the par-fives in two-over to demonstrate that this course is a tad long for him, and although he deserves credit for playing the rest of the course in three-under I can't have him a similar price to Senden here.

My strongest fancy is Noh, so we'll have a single on him to cover the staking plan and a smaller treble on all three.

  • Preview posted at 1010 BST on 10/08/2012.