Jon Rahm tops a world-class leaderboard with 18 holes to play in the DP World Tour Championship. Ben Coley previews Sunday's final round.
2pts Horsfield & Fleetwood to win their two-balls at 2/1 (Sky Bet)
1pt Jon Rahm to win by four shots or more at 7/1 (Sky Bet)
0.5pt Shane Lowry to shoot the lowest R4 score at 25/1 (BoyleSports)
0.5pt Robert MacIntyre to shoot the lowest R4 score at 33/1 (BoyleSports)
Everything remains up for grabs on day four of the DP World Tour Championship, as a fine season for European golf draws to a close.
A year ago, Collin Morikawa took this title and with it the Race to Dubai, his final-round surge and Rory McIlroy's collapse somehow fitting given the shellacking handed out by the USA at the Ryder Cup.
Now, Europe has the world's top-ranked golfer and FedEx Cup winner, McIlroy, plus the reigning US Open champion, Matthew Fitzpatrick. With Shane Lowry and Tommy Fleetwood back among the winners, things are looking up.
Several of these names remain in the mix in Dubai, too, but it's Jon Rahm they all have to catch. Rahm's class is such that he holds the lead despite his best club, driver, having been more hindrance than help this week. At the end of a third-round 65 he admitted that he'd got away with plenty from the tee, but seemed unsurprisingly hopeful that he'd be back on track come Sunday.
That prospect is a likely one and makes Rahm appear very difficult to beat. In fact, while his lead over Fitzpatrick is just one, and McIlroy is three back in fourth place, odds-against quotes for the Spaniard are fair. He's won this twice in three tries and, free from Race to Dubai distractions, I think he'll make it three from four.
It's certainly frustrating not to have sided with this prolific winner pre-tournament at 11/2, or pre-Saturday at a standout 6/1. Rahm's strike-rate away from the majors on this circuit is 33% and time and again he comes over and looks like the king of the DP World Tour, even if he is currently behind McIlroy in the world rankings and has played to a slightly lower standard for most of the year.
McIlroy, the best driver in the field by far this week, has more than halved his halfway deficit from seven shots to three, and he's a threat of course. I'd just be slightly worried that his primary goal is winning the Race to Dubai, which he'll do with a top-two finish, and it's a subplot that could also make life just a bit more difficult for Fitzpatrick, who is yet to win it.
Alex Noren separates those two and is always a threat from off the pace, but Rahm has everything in his favour. He's 4/1 to win by three or more with BoyleSports and 7/1 to win by four or more with Sky Bet, and these look like good options for those who can. Failing that, anyone happy taking short prices should consider getting stuck in at anything evens or better.
Those two firms mentioned have also priced up the lowest round of the day market and I am inclined to take two small chances on SHANE LOWRY and ROBERT MACINTYRE, who play together.
Winners at Wentworth and in Rome respectively, it's been a good year for both these two and from their positions in the middle of the pack, they look a likely couple when it comes to feeding off each other and producing the fireworks we'll need.
With bumper Ryder Cup points on offer it's certainly a day to go out and attack, a style which suits MacIntyre in particular very well, and both like this course. Lowry in fact was runner-up with a blistering 63 in 2017 and MacIntyre also has a best-of-the-day round to his name from just 15 played at the course so far.
MacIntyre is marginally preferred given that he's been in scoring positions off the tee but Lowry, who laughed off a frustrating first round, is overpriced at 25/1 and merits inclusion in the hope his playing partner tows him into it.
More realistically, the best bet on the two-ball coupon is SAM HORSFIELD at even-money to beat Gavin Green, and it's a 2/1 chance if we throw in TOMMY FLEETWOOD to beat Jorge Campillo.
The latter has relied squarely on his short-game to remain competitive and will do well to keep tabs on Fleetwood, the best iron player in the field this week and right back at the top of his game. He has three rounds of 65 here from his last five visits and averages fully a shot and a half lower than Campillo around a course which puts a lot of pressure on the Spaniard from the tee.
As for Horsfield, he's driven the ball superbly and signed off round three with an eagle having hit his approach inside five feet. It might be a sign of things to come for the Englishman and while I'm a big fan of Green, his long-game has been poor for the most part and he was fortunate to play the final two holes in just one-over, having needed a good double-bogey save on 17 and then holed from range at the last.
Horsfield remains the better player for now and even-money is a pleasant surprise as he really ought to be odds-on at a course where he was ninth last year, and may yet bag another top-10 finish. But for some abysmal work around the greens Horsfield would be comfortably inside that mark once again, but he's another I can see finishing with a flourish.
Posted at 1445 GMT on 19/11/22
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