down cross

Consistent Howell should leave rusty Cantlay in his wake

Stenson expected to assert over weekend

Charles Howell hardly ever has a bad round these days
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Adam Hadwin is enjoying an excellent season, which featured a round of 59 in the CareerBuilder Challenge at the end of January, and the US Tour maiden is among the birdies again in the Valspar Championship.

Hadwin, who finished runner-up in the CareerBuilder, was easy to back at 100-1 ante-post for the Valspar. The 29-year-old Canadian is no bigger than 7-2, though, going into the weekend at ten under par.

Hadwin made five back-nine birdies in a second-round 64 at the Valspar, leaving him a shot ahead of first-round pacesetter Jim Herman. The tournament favourite with two rounds to go at the Copperhead Course, though, is Open champion Henrik Stenson.

A stomach virus forced Stenson to withdraw after just 11 holes of the WGC-Mexico Championship last week, but the Swede opened in the Valspar with a superb seven-under-par 64. A level-par second round left Stenson sharing fourth place, three shots behined Hadwin, and a general 9-4 chance for Valspar glory.

Pre-tournament 11-1 favourite Justin Thomas missed the cut, while Daniel Berger, Steve Stricker and Bubba Watson also failed to quality for the weekend.

Third-round twoball punters are pointed towards Charles Howell (5.45pm UK and Ireland time), a relentlessly consistent US Tour performer. Howell has finished in the top 15 in seven of his last eight starts, and he is enjoying himself in his adopted home state this week. Expect Howell to outscore playing partner Patrick Cantlay, who only recently returned from a long injury lay-off.

Coral are offering a bargain 7-10 about former USPGA champion Jason Dufner, who loves the test of accuracy provided by Copperhead, against world number 541 Hunter Mahan (5.05pm).

C Howell
4pts 8-13 Hills

J Dufner
3pts 7-10 Coral

Howell has finished in the top 15 in seven of his last eight starts
E.W. Terms
Sky bet