19:45 – October 12, 2019

There’s been loads of change on the Italian Open leaderboard in the present day due to an entertaining third spherical at Olgiata.

J.B Hansen, who began the day alone in second, has tumbled to a tie for 13th after a disappointing three-over-par 74 and Andrew Johnson was the one man inside three of the lead at midway to shoot an under-par spherical however his one-under-par 70 has nonetheless seen him slip from tied third to tied seventh. The opposite 4 gamers to start out the third spherical alongside Johnson all shot 71 or worse and Justin Rose, who started the day buying and selling at round [7.0], did not report a single birdie. He now sits tied for 51st after a seven-over-par 78!

In racing phrases – the chief, Matthew Fitzpatrick, has been given a tender lead. He nonetheless maintains the benefit however solely due to a implausible end. He too floundering on what transpired to be a troublesome afternoon however 4 birdies in his final six holes noticed him return to the highest. Here is the 54-hole leaderboard with costs to again at 19:35.

Matthew Fitzpatrick -13 [2.34]
Kurt Kitayama -12 [6.6]
Robert Macintyre -11 [7.2]
Matt Wallace -10 [9.0]
Bernd Wiesberger -10 [11.0]
Soren Kjeldsen -9 [60.0]
-Eight and [70.0] bar

Fitzpatrick heads the market at a stable [2.34] and that actually is not too quick. He is the 11th man to steer a European Tour occasion by a stroke with a spherical to go this 12 months and 4 of the earlier ten efficiently transformed. That is the sixth time he is led or been tied for lead after three rounds and he is carried out admirably – profitable thrice and ending second twice. He is made simply 4 bogeys all week up to now and he is going to be onerous to beat.

That mentioned, we noticed in the present day how rapidly issues can go awry round Olgiata and taking only a shade of odds-against about anybody round right here would not make a lot attraction – particularly given how sturdy the chasers are.

Kurt Kitayama in second could have gone off at [250.0] (the identical worth I took about him final week in Las Vegas!) however he is aware of find out how to win and he is already gained twice this season on the European Tour, Robert McIntyre, in third, who like Kitayama made his transfer from off the tempo in the present day, is in search of his first victory however it will not be lengthy earlier than it comes, and it is inconceivable to low cost the 2 males tied for fourth and three off the lead.

Having seen a few probabilities to win slip this season, Matt Wallace has had an analogous season to the chief however he is a ruthless nearer who’s due a win (gained thrice final season) and Bernd Wiesberger, who gained the final Rolex Sequence occasion (the Scottish Open) is seeking to win his third title of the season. If Fitzpatrick slips, it is onerous to envisage his nearest challengers melting away like they did in the present day.

It is onerous to make a very stable case for any of the 4 closest chasers on worth – though I am very tempted by Wiesberger at [11.0] – however there may be one participant I am glad to take an opportunity on.

I backed Korea’s Jeunghun Wang final week in Spain, having written this within the preview.

“I fairly like a spike in type from seemingly nowhere because the market is commonly too gradual to react so I used to be additionally glad to take a triple-figure worth about a number of European Tour winner, Jeunghun Wang, who completed fifth final week in Scotland.”

It did not repay as he missed the minimize however he is clearly discovered one thing given he shot a bogey-free seven under-par 64 in the present day. He trails by 5 so has loads to do nonetheless however [140.0] is only a bit too huge given there are solely six males forward of him.

The Houston Open has been severely hampered by the climate however the third spherical is now up and operating. I am glad to go away the occasion alone for now and I will be again tomorrow to take a greater look with only a spherical to go. There are simply two strokes separating the highest 9 gamers and it seems to be like a minefield.

22:00 – October 11, 2019

The midway leaderboard on the Italian Open is suffering from correct sorts with type at tree-lined tracks and searching on the stats up to now, regardless of the size of the course, driving distance has been an irrelevance. Aaron Rai, the winner of the Hong Kong Open in November at tight and fiddly tree-lined Fanling, is tied for eighth, regardless of solely rating 105th for Driving Distance and Matthew Fitzpatrick, who completed second to Rai at Fanling, leads by a stroke, rating solely 77th for DD. Here is the 36-hole leaderboard with costs to again at 21:55.

Matthew Fitzpatrick -10 [3.55]
J.B Hansen -9 [15.0]
Justin Rose -7 [7.4]
Rory Sabbatini -7 [23.0]
Andrew Johnston -7 [32.0]
Graeme McDowell -7 [34.0]
Shubhankar Sharma -7 [40.0]
Matt Wallace -6 [17.0]
Andrea Pavan -6 [21.0]
Erik Van Rooyen -6 [25.0]
Bernd Wiesberger -6 [26.0]
-6 and [32.0] bar

Fitzpatrick and JB Hansen have put a tiny little bit of daylight between themselves and the remaining and that could be vital if previous outcomes at Olgiata are any kind of information. As highlighted within the In-Play part of the preview, Ian Poulter (one other Fanling winner) led right here wire-to wire when he took the title in 2002 and the 5 gamers to win right here on the Problem Tour have been all up with the tempo all the way in which – three of the 5 winners have been in entrance at midway, and the opposite two sat contained in the top-three locations and have been solely two off the lead.

Hansen gained twice on the Problem Tour final 12 months however he is but to win on the European Tour so Fitzpatrick is the clear and apparent favorite to win his sixth title. That is the seventh time Fitzpatrick has led or co-led at midway and he is seeking to convert for a 3rd time.

He gained his first European Tour title at tree-lined Woburn having been tied for the lead at midway in 2015 and he transformed a three-stroke lead on the Nordea Masters the next 12 months however he is did not convert from the entrance on the final three events he is led.

I am undecided I might learn an excessive amount of into that however it’s simply sufficient to cease me from backing him with so many high quality gamers inside 4 strokes of his lead. A barely pedestrian third spherical tomorrow will in all probability see him caught and handed so I am glad to proceed to swerve him.

Fitzpatrick was very excessive on my shortlist for apparent causes and I solely did not again him as a result of I assumed he was a bit quick at lower than [30.0] given the depth of the sector and the size of the observe so it is irritating to see him main however he nonetheless seems to be fractionally quick to me.

There are a selection of gamers that might make a transfer tomorrow and Mike Norman’s each-way fancy, Andrea Pavan, who grew up taking part in Olgiata, is as possible as any. His course expertise, coupled with the assist of the house crowd, may rely for many over the weekend and he is an attention-grabbing contender however the one I’ve thrown just a few kilos at is Mikko Korhonen.

The Finn was in-contention final week earlier than falling away throughout the third spherical however I assumed he was price chancing at [60.0] given he is no greater than 40/1 on the Excessive Avenue.

10:50 – October 11, 2019

The second spherical of the Italian Open is nicely underway and stay on Sky Sports activities however it’s an occasion I am fairly glad to go away alone for now. World quantity 5, Justin Rose, has hit the entrance however he’s one among a bunch of huge names in-contention and it is beautiful to see final week’s fancy, Mikko Korhonen, in-the-mix. That will have been a lie.

The one I actually preferred this week was South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout however he withdrew earlier than the off, leaving me with simply two picks and neither is threatening the lead at this stage.

Danny Willett completed his first spherical properly yesterday and I used to be quietly assured he’d make a pleasant transfer this morning however he was poor very first thing – taking part in his first 9 in one-over-par. Whereas my solely different decide, after the withdrawal of Bezuidenhout, Guido Migliozzi, has performed very well up to now in the present day, however he gave himself loads to do after a poor first spherical.

This appears like a match to be cautious of so I am glad to proceed to sit down and look ahead to now and I will be again with a extra complete have a look at the midway stage – both this night, or very first thing within the morning.

Over on the PGA Tour, on the Houston Open, the early starters have been advantaged to the tune of 1.67 strokes on day one. The primary six on the leaderboard, separated by two strokes, all performed within the morning and 12 of the highest 14 loved an early begin. Each of my two picks, Henrik Stenson and Jhonattan Vegas, have been fortunate sufficient to be drawn early yesterday however neither took benefit. It is not all doom and gloom, nevertheless. I attempted to again one other three outsiders however did not get matched on any of them. None of them performed nicely.

It is completely no shock to see course specialist, Russell Henley, only one off the lead after the opening spherical and he now heads the very open market at [8.6]. Having backed Henley to win right here a few years in the past at [60.0], I could not discuss myself into backing him at round [25.0], and I am stubbornly sticking to the opinion that – that was the correct choice however I might be dropping the argument (with myself!).

Greens In Regulation has been the essential stat in Houston in order that bodes nicely for Austin Cook dinner, tied for the lead on -8, and Nick Watney, who sits tied for seventh and three again. They rank first and second for GIR after the opening spherical and Watney is among the two gamers contained in the top-14 that tees off this morning – having performed within the afternoon yesterday.

Watney hasn’t gained for seven years and he is greater than able to throwing away an honest begin so I am glad to swerve him nonetheless however I’ve had a tiny bet on Cook dinner at [12.5]. Wanting on the climate forecast, I do not assume the early starters in the present day are going to make up the misplaced floor (wind and rain forecast) but when final 12 months’s result’s something to go by, in case you fancy somebody who’s began slowly, do not be postpone. Ian Poulter gained the occasion having trailed by 9 and having sat tied for 123rd after the opening spherical!

Italy Open Pre-Occasion Picks:
Danny Willett @ [32.0]
Christiaan Bezuidenhout @ [55.0] W/D – N/R
Guido Migliozzi @ [90.0]

In-Play Picks:
Mikko Korhonen @ [60.0]
Jeunghun Wang @ [140.0]

Houston Open Pre-Occasion Picks:
Henrik Stenson @ [13.0]
Jhonattan Vegas @ [80.0]

In-Play Choose:
Austin Cook dinner @ [12.5]

*You’ll be able to observe me on Twitter @SteveThePunter