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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

50-1 Piercy looks capable of hustling the halfway pacesetters

Champion is making a stout defence

Scott Piercy once carded a 61 at TPC Scottsdale
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Day three
Sky Sports 4, 6pm

Brendan Steele and Byeong Hun An, 40-1 and 110-1 ante-post, lead at the halfway stage of the Phoenix Open after reaching ten under par.

Steele carded a bogey-free second-round 67, while An has opened his account at TPC Scottsdale with back-to-back rounds of 66. Neither are threatening favouritism, though, with some class acts lurking close behind.

Defending champion and pre-tournament 11-1 chance Hideki Matsuyama is in a share of third place, alongside American Ryder Cup star Matt Kuchar. Matsuyama is a general 3-1 market leader, having taken over at the summit of the betting from Jordan Spieth.
A double-bogey at the 18th hole in round two halted the progress of Spieth, who is six shots off the pace. He pulled his drive into the water hazard left of the fairway.

There are 20 players within four shots of the lead and the event is wide open going into the weekend. Steele and Matsuyama are probably going to be difficult to shift from the leaderboard, while Scott Piercy, who almost aced the notorious 16th hole in round two and is a proven Scottsdale performer, is a tempting 50-1 chance for those looking for bigger outright prices.

Third-round twoball punters are pointed towards Piercy for his 5pm contest with Robert Garrigus and Scott Brown. Piercy carded a round of 61 at the TPC Scottsdale in 2013, finishing third, and eight starts in the event have yielded five top-15s.

Piercy took his game to a new level last year with back-to-back runner-up finishes in the US Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, reaching a career high of 25th in the world rankings. The Nevada man has a great record in the desert and relishes this assignment.

Spieth made a mess of his final hole of round three, but 7-10 is a surprisingly generous price about the two-time Major champion outscoring Boo Weekley and John Peterson in their 4pm meeting.

The final group of Steele, An and Martin Laird boards the first tee at 5.50pm UK and Ireland time. A calm, sunny day lies in store.

Recommendations
S Piercy
2pts 7-5 Coral

J Spieth
2pts 7-10 Coral

The Nevada man has a great record in the desert and relishes this assignment
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