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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Johnson capable of closing gap on Simpson

Former Open champion should be at home

Zach Johnson can win his second-round threeball at Sea Island
1 of 1

Second round
Sky Sports Golf, 6.30pm Friday

Former US Open champion Webb Simpson made an excellent start to his push for the RSM Classic with a five-under-par 67 on Thursday, but he could be eclipsed by another Major winner as his attention turns to the Seaside Course in Georgia.

Sea Island resident Zach Johnson is three shots behind his playing partner and he could close that gap by winning their 4.20pm GMT threeball where veteran Davis Love makes up the numbers.

Johnson headed home in fine fettle having carded a 64 in his final round at the OHL Classic in Mexico and his position would have been a lot rosier had he not dropped two shots in the final eight holes at the Plantation Course.

The former Masters champion, who has not triumphed since winning the 2015 Open at St Andrews, should be able to build on that effort and is worth chancing against Simpson, whose round included an eagle at the 18th, which was his ninth hole.

Simpson has claimed six top-20 finishes in his last seven events and has two top-ten finishes at the Georgia venue, even though both of those were before the anchored-putter ban was introduced last year.

Johnson is the slight underdog of the pair at 6-4 and that looks a price that might just be worth taking on a course where his accurate play should be a big asset.

Love opened with an even-par 72 and while he also lives close to the venue, his fourth in 2012 is by far his best performance in the tournament.

Despite his tenth at this year's Wyndham Championship, there has been little other evidence that he can still compete at this level.

Chris Kirk led the tournament after carding an opening nine-under-par 63.

Z Johnson to win threeball
1pt 6-4 general

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Johnson headed home in fine fettle having carded a 64 in his final round at the OHL Classic in Mexico
E.W. Terms
Sky bet