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Steve Palmer's US Open second-round preview, best bets and free golf tips

Torrey Pines favourite Jon Rahm makes excellent start at happy hunting ground

Gary Woodland is worth backing for his threeball
1 of 1

Golf tips, best bets and player analysis for the second round of the US Open at Torrey Pines South, California.

Where to watch

Sky Sports Golf, 3.30pm Friday

Best bet

Gary Woodland to win threeball
2pts 11-8 general

Joaquin Niemann to win threeball
2pts 11-10 general

Story so far

Phil Mickelson's dream of winning a first US Open title this week and completing a career Grand Slam took a serious hit in round one at Torrey Pines yesterday - a four-over-par 75 leaving the 51-year-old with a mountain to climb.

Lefty has given himself little margin for error going forward, but Jon Rahm - the other main story heading into this tournament - got off to a great start, carding a 69 to shorten from 9-1 to 11-2 in the outright betting.

A morning delay for visibility issues meant round one was suspended due to darkness. Louis Oosthuizen, tied for the lead at four under par, has two holes left to play. The South African is 12 yards from the hole on the eighth green (his 17th), so will be putting for birdie when the action resumes at 2.50pm UK and Ireland time.

Patrick Cantlay is a yard further away from the hole, playing alongside Oosthuizen on the eighth green, also putting for birdie. Cantlay is one under par through 16 holes.

Leaderboard (holes played)
-4 Russell Henley (18), Louis Oosthuizen (16)
-3 Francesco Molinari (18), Rafael Cabrera-Bello (18)
-2 Brooks Koepka (18), Xander Schauffele (18), Hayden Buckley (18), Hideki Matsuyama (18), Jon Rahm (18), Sebastian Munoz (14)

Selected others
-1 Tyrrell Hatton (18), Adam Scott (18), Patrick Cantlay (16), Rory McIlroy (18)
Par Dustin Johnson (18)
+1 Tommy Fleetwood (18), Shane Lowry (18), Patrick Reed (18)
+2 Justin Thomas (18), Bryson DeChambeau (18)
+3 Viktor Hovland (18), Tony Finau (18)
+4 Collin Morikawa (18), Phil Mickelson (18), Will Zalatoris (18)
+6 Jordan Spieth (18)
+7 Justin Rose (18)
+8 Webb Simpson (18)

Best prices
11-2 J Rahm, 7 B Koepka, 8 L Oosthuizen, 10 X Schauffele, 14 R McIlroy, 18 H Matsuyama, D Johnson, P Cantlay, 33 T Hatton, 35 R Henley, 40 bar

Second-round preview

As the old saying goes, you can't win a golf tournament on the first day, but you can certainly lose it - and several big names will feel that they have blown their title hopes immediately.

Volatile scoring can be a feature of US Opens - and memories of Tony Finau and Daniel Berger surging from 11 shots behind to a share of the lead on the Saturday of the 2018 edition will keep the strugglers interested - but the likes of Webb Simpson, Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth will feel crestfallen after their nightmare starts.

Any double-bogeys or worse from Californian trio Collin Morikawa, Phil Mickelson and Will Zalatoris in round two will leave them tailed off, while Viktor Hovland and Tony Finau will also be aware that they can't afford many mistakes.

Favourite backers can be thrilled with the start of their man, who just sneaked into the clubhouse with 18 holes under his belt before play was suspended. Jon Rahm look set to go close to a maiden Major title this week.

Outright punters getting involved at this stage should probably concentrate on Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele and Hideki Matsuyama, who are all swinging well and seem likely to set up an opportunity for Sunday, but there is obviously an enormous amount of golf to be played and scope for those deeper on the board to enter the equation.

Punters have plenty of second-round threeballs to attack today. Gary Woodland (9.36pm UK) and Joaquin Niemann (3.18pm) are the most appealing options.

Woodland, the 2019 US Open champion who has found some fitness and form in recent months, can outscore Webb Simpson, who could quickly lose focus if the cut-line becomes completely out of reach early, and struggling German Martin Kaymer.

Niemann, a two-time winner of the Junior World Championship at Torrey Pines, can defeat Garrick Higgo and Cole Hammer for the second day running.


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Niemann, a two-time winner of the Junior World Championship at Torrey Pines, can defeat Garrick Higgo and Cole Hammer for the second day running
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