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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Hoffman set to repel Rose for Hero glory

Leader should convert his opportunity

Rickie Fowler can win his final-round twoball today
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Story so far

Charley Hoffman took full control of the Hero World Challenge in round three, despite hitting some wild drives at the Albany course, Bahamas.

Hoffman, 35-1 ante-post and 7-2 entering the third round with a three-shot lead, extended his advantage to five with a workmanlike two-under-par 70 in difficult conditions.

Hoffman, who turns 41 at the end of this month, is an 8-13 chance to convert this fantastic opportunity to register his first victory of the year. Open champion Jordan Spieth and local resident Justin Rose are tied for second place.

Tiger Woods suffered an ugly 75 to drop to a share of tenth spot in the 18-runner event, but that still left him ahead of some big names who have flopped badly in the end-of-season shootout. Woods is ahead of Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Brooks Koepka.

Leaderboard

-14 Charley Hoffman
-9 Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose
-8 Francesco Molinari
-7 Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar, Hideki Matsuyama, Tommy Fleetwood

Best prices

8-13 C Hoffman, 5 J Spieth, 6 J Rose, 25 R Fowler, F Molinari, 30 H Matsuyama, 40 T Fleetwood, P Reed, 50 M Kuchar, 250 bar

Final-day advice

Charley Hoffman was recommended on racingpost.com at the halfway stage and confidence has increased in the leader after another 18 holes. It looks like he has got his 'bad round' out of the way while actually increasing his advantage.

Hoffman got away with some loose tee-shots and did well to grind his way to an under-par round. The chasing pack applied pressure, but he responded manfully and can be fancied to finish the job today.

Hoffman is determined to claim a trophy at the end of a season in which he has played extremely well without winning. That extra application, both on and off the course, has helped the Californian dominate proceedings.

Hoffman, typically a strong ball-striker who is comfortable in the wind, has putted well this week, and a five-shot lead should be more than enough, even with a top-class duo in hot pursuit.

Jordan Spieth has hit some great shots and some terrible ones over the first three days, the three-times Major champ not quite firing on all cylinders, and Justin Rose may emerge as the bigger danger to Hoffman.

Albany is the practice base of Rose and he knows the course intimately. The Englishman closed with a 62 in the 2015 Hero and has been in rock-solid form for weeks, winning the WGC-HSBC Champions and the Turkish Airlines Open.

Rickie Fowler, third at Albany the last two years, seems by far the most likely 'springer' from the pack, and Fowler can challenge Spieth for third spot. Hoffman, Rose, Fowler, Spieth could be the order they come home. The Hoffman-Rose dual forecast is 9-4 with Sky Bet.

Final-round twoballs punters are pointed towards Fowler, who is playing well and ideally suited to this track. His Sunday opponent, Patrick Reed, has one eye on his mobile phone, with his wife due to give birth at any moment.

The final twoball of Hoffman and Rose are scheduled to tee off at 5.05pm UK and Ireland time.

Recommendations
Hoffman-Rose dual forecast
2pts 9-4 Sky Bet

R Fowler to win twoball
2pts 10-11 bet365

Advised outright yesterday
C Hoffman
4pts 7-2 general

R Fowler
1pt each-way 12-1 general

Albany is the practice base of Rose and he knows the course intimately
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