The weather isn’t as ghastly as it was on Saturday morning but my advice is still the same, make yourself a cup of tea and read our Golf tipster Jamie Worlsey’s thoughts ahead of the final round of the Open…

The Open In-Play Betting Tips – Sunday 23 July, 2023

Back Cameron Smith & Byeong Hun An to win their 2-balls at 2.29/1  (3pts)

Six years is a lengthy winless run for Brian Harman but after another impressively gutsy performance yesterday at Hoylake, he now has a superb opportunity to end that baron spell in the most storied tournament of all.

Starting Saturday with a five-shot lead, Harman enters the final round still in front by the same margin. He began the day looking a little shaky, bogeying two of his opening four holes to give everybody hope. However, he rallied excellently from there, holing numerous clutch putts (including his par save on the last) and shooting -4 from the 5th hole onwards to reestablish his advantage.

That’s one serious hurdle cleared for Harman and the admirable nature in which he battled back yesterday when others may have crumbled would’ve been a huge confidence booster. But there are still 18 holes to play and with some star names nipping at his heels – as well as some tricky weather in today’s forecast – getting the job done is going to be far from a simple task.

Current Standings:

1st – Brian Harman -12

2nd – Cameron Young -7

3rd – Jon Rahm -6

T4 – Viktor Hovland -5

T4 – Antoine Rozner -5

T4 – Jason Day -5

T4 – Sepp Straka -5

T4 – Tommy Fleetwood -5

T9 – Alex Fitzpatrick – 4

T9 – Shubhankar Sharma -4

A rain-softened course meant scoring conditions were much more favourable on Saturday and we were treated to an absolute masterclass from Jon Rahm, who fired a bogey-free 63 – a new record round for Open Championships at Hoylake – to catapult himself into the mix; entering the final round in 3rd, six back of Harman.

Yesterday’s in-play selection, Cameron Young enjoyed another strong day on the links, with a 5-under 66 getting him to within five and he is the man closest to Harman in the final pairing; now a 7/1 shot, coming in from 28/1 yesterday.

While Tommy Fleetwood stood still and Rory McIlroy failed to make enough of a move – both enduring a day to forget on the greens – we witnessed bigger moves from Norway’s Viktor Hovland, who matched the round of Young to move himself into a tie for 4th and it was a special day for Alex Fitzpatrick (younger brother of Matt), whose 6-under 65 was the second-best round of the day and fired him into the top 10 entering today’s final round.

Today will be one of intrigue and is ultimately all about Harman. Rain is set to continue falling for most of the day but we should hopefully get some troublesome winds accompanying it, with gusts set to blow at over 20mph for much of Harman’s round.

He’s answered every question that’s been asked of him so far, though he will have to pass further tests if he’s to be left holding the Claret Jug at the end of the day.

Selections

Yesterday’s in-play selection, Cameron Young now gives us a fighting chance if finally, Harman relents. If he doesn’t, we at least have plenty of place interest with Young, Viktor Hovland and even Patrick Cantlay all somewhat in the mix.

With that, I’m not tempted to jump into the outright market again and will focus on a couple of 2-ball selections to give us some added interest on our final Major Championship Sunday of the year.

Cameron Smith & Byeong Hun An to win their 2-balls

I’m going to start with Cameron Smith to get the better of Patrick Reed today. Smith was one of the strongest tee-to-green players in the field yesterday, ranking 4th and it was pleasing to see him finally get the driver somewhat under control. He shot -3 despite an unusually poor day on the greens.

The Aussie has been one of the best iron players in the field this week, ranking 10th. This is in contrast to Reed, for whom the short-game has done all of the heavy lifting; his ranking of 6th around-the-greens and 22nd with the putter masking his poor ball-striking, as he ranks 47th off-the-tee and 59th in approach.

Both had been in form entering this week but Smith’s has been far superior. He’s won twice in LIV in his last six starts, whilst he has also recorded top 10s in the previous two majors, finishing 4th at the US Open and 9th at the PGA Championship. If he can find his usual quality with the putter today and maintain some level of his tee-to-green display fromyesterday, he can make his way up the leaderboard, outplaying Reed in the process.

I’m going to double Smith up with Byeong Hun An, who I’m expecting to take down Swede, Alexander Bjork today.

If it wasn’t for the putter – where he ranked 5th – Bjork would’ve tumbled down the leaderboard yesterday, such was the weakness of his tee-to-green game; as he ranked 64th in the field. In comparison, An made up for a poor day with his irons by producing strong performances in other areas, ranking 13th around-the-greens, 16th off-the-tee and 26th with the putter. Resulting in a 2-under-par round.

Yesterday’s performances from the two players are representative of what they’ve done for most of the week – though Bjork did hit his irons better in the opening two rounds – with An looking particularly good around-the-greens this week; a stat in which he leads the field.

The Korean handled the demanding conditions well in Scotland last week for an impressive 3rd-place finish and if Bjork is again left relying on the putter today, I expect Byeong An to finish the event stronger.

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