German grinder is worth following after Masters fillip
Kaymer can top continental challenge
Live on Sky Sports 4, 8pm Thursday
Tournament starts midday BST
Heritage favourite Matt Kuchar joins Houston Open champion Russell Henley and dual Major winner Martin Kaymer in a 1pm threeball today which will have a significant impact on the in-play outright market.
Kuchar, Henley and Kaymer are all likely title contenders at the Harbour Town Links, South Carolina, and the latter should be followed in the top continental European betting. Betfred's 19-10 about Kaymer beating Francesco Molinari, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, David Lingmerth, Alex Cejka, Jonas Blixt, Freddie Jacobson and Carl Pettersson looks full of juice.
Kaymer has not missed a cut since last year's Valspar Championship, which was in the middle of March. The German grinder has played 28 tournaments since then, posting 17 top-20s, and the last one was a huge confidence booster. A share of 16th in the Masters, where he had previously endured consistent nightmares, was an excellent achievement for Kaymer.
With Augusta form figures of MC-MC-MC-MC-44-35-31-MC-49, Kaymer did not approach the first Major of the season with great expectation. He had never broken 70 in the Masters, until doing so twice last week, making eight birdies in his final round.
Kaymer is comfortable playing links golf – he won the Dunhill Links Championship in 2010 – and it is worth noting his 2014 US Open victory came in North Carolina. He tackles a links in South Carolina this week with renewed self-belief.
Kaymer's second and last Heritage start (2014) ended in a share of 23rd spot and everything points to a strong performance this week. Less hope can be carried by the other continentals. Molinari withdrew from the WGC-Match Play with a wrist injury, then failed to break 70 at the Masters, while Cabrera-Bello has suddenly missed two cuts in a row. The rest of the section are badly lacking form and confidence.
Pick of the threeball prices is arguably in the 6pm match, where promising Australian youngster Cameron Smith can account for David Hearn and Harold Varner. Smith finished 15th in his only previous Heritage start, carding a pair of weekend 67s, and difficult, seaside tracks suit him.
M Kaymer top continental European
3pts 19-10 Betfred
C Smith to win threeball
2pts 13-8 Betfair, Betway, Paddy Power