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Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Henley can hassle leading duo if Houston weather allows

Thunderstorms could spoil the party

Rickie Fowler has struggled over the closing holes
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Story so far

Bad weather is forecast for Houston today and US Tour chiefs have pushed tee-times forward in a bid to avoid the worst of the gloom. The Houston Open is scheduled to resume at 7.15am local time (1.15pm UK and Ireland), with the leaders out at 9.05am (3.05pm).

Thunderstorms and even a potential tornado are predicted for the afternoon, so it could be a race against time to get finished. The Houston Open tournament organisers are under pressure to get the event completed as soon as possible, with the Masters looming, but they have been keen to stress that a Monday finish is a viable option.

If no play is possible today – entirely feasible if the front sweeps in early – then the Houston officials may have to concede defeat and call a 54-hole result. That would mean victory for 250-1 outsider Sung Kang, who battled his way to a third-round 71 to maintain his overnight lead.

Rickie Fowler made a mess of the closing holes for the second day running, three-putting from four feet on the 18th, meaning Kang leads by three shots going into Sunday. Kang is a best-price 11-10 for a maiden victory, while ante-post 16-1 chance Fowler is 6-4.

Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson and Adam Scott missed the cut, while Justin Rose (16th), Jon Rahm (21st) and Phil Mickelson (61st) are too far back to contend for the title.

Leaderboard

-17 Sung Kang
-14 Rickie Fowler
-13 Russell Henley
-12 Luke List
-8 Rafael Campos, Daniel Berger, Kyle Stanley

Best prices

11-10 S Kang, 6-4 R Fowler, 11-2 R Henley, 14 L List, 150 D Berger, 200 bar

Today's advice

A 72-hole tournament would still have four potential winners, and Racing Post Sport followers will be praying that the weather gods allow the Houston Open to go the distance. Ante-post each-way recommendations on Russell Henley at 35-1 and Luke List at 100-1 would have the chance of delivering the jackpot if 18 more holes can be played.

Sung Kang and Rickie Fowler have obviously got better hopes of title glory, but Henley, who closed round three with back-to-back birdies at the tough 17th and 18th, and List, who carded a flawless Saturday 65 which was two shots better than anyone else in the field, would relish the pursuit of the leading duo.

Who knows how Rickie Fowler is going to react to his 18th-hole nightmare? Fowler looked on course for matching or bettering List's 65, but a bogey at 17 and a double at 18 destroyed that plan. Fowler is a total of five over par for the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th this week.

Kang has a three-shot advantage, but has never won a tournament of any significance, so Sunday nerves could besiege the 29-year-old Korean if they get on the course. Fowler is arguably slightly better value at 6-4 than Kang at 11-10, but not by much. Putting wizard Henley at 11-2 is probably the best option for punters keen to get involved at this stage.

Henley, who has a magnificent record at the Golf Club of Houston, is a juicy price at 15-8 to win his final-round threeball against Fowler and Kang (3.05pm), while Texas-based Kiwi Danny Lee is also overpriced at 9-4 to outscore Jason Dufner and Stewart Cink (2.25pm).

Recommendations
R Henley
1pt 15-8 general

D Lee
1pt 9-4 Betfred

Who knows how Rickie Fowler is going to react to his 18th-hole nightmare?
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