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Monday, 22 October, 2018

Local hero Jason Day finally showing his fans what they want

DeChambeau fights back to keep hopes alive

Jason Day has made a fast start and looks a massive threat
1 of 1

Sky Sports Golf, 5.30pm Saturday

Kyle Stanley and Joaquin Niemann, 80-1 and 125-1 respectively ante-post, lead the Memorial at the halfway stage, having reached 11 under par through 36 holes at Muirfield Village, Ohio.

Two-time US Tour champion Stanley is 15-2 to convert his position into Memorial glory, while rising star Niemann can be backed at 10-1. Niemann is bidding to become the third-youngest winner in US Tour history at 19 years and six months. The Chilean starlet is 20 under par for his last six rounds, having finished eighth in the Fort Worth Invitational on Sunday.

Stanley is a suspect putter and Niemann is seriously short of experience, so it would be a surprise if either kick clear of the field in round three. Outright punters are advised to concentrate on Jason Day (7-1), Bryson DeChambeau (16-1) and Justin Rose (10-1).

Day is a Muirfield Village member who lives ten miles from the course and the Aussie is finally threatening to do himself justice at his home track after years of underachievement. A pair of 68s is the best start Day has ever made in the Memorial and two 2018 victories appear to have given the former world number one an extra layer of self-assurance for his annual outing in front of family and friends.

The in-form DeChambeau suffered more than most from the weather delay late in round two. The Californian was in awesome fettle, six under par for ten holes of round two, but he dropped three shots in his first four holes after the resumption, then three-putted for par at the par-five 15th.

That post-thunder wobble appeared to have ruined DeChambeau's tournament, but a strong finish – birdie, birdie, par – meant he bravely hauled his way back to a share of fourth place and can approach the weekend in high spirits.

Rose is a former Memorial champion who adores the layout. The Englishman won at Colonial on Sunday, fired an impressive second-round 66 yesterday in the company of Tiger Woods, and is a huge danger to all from just four shots off the pace.

Third-round twoball punters are pointed towards Stanley, who should avoid big numbers on his scorecard and can draw upon a decade of US Tour experience. Putting is a weakness, but there are few in the world who are more competent from tee to green, which is the main challenge of Muirfield Village. Niemann is clearly going places, but the teenager will probably hit one or two destructive shots under the pressure of co-leading such a prestigious event.

Patrick Reed and Tiger Woods form a mouthwatering 4.20pm pairing. A sunny, calm day is forecast, before an unsettled, thundery Sunday.

Twoballs recommendation
K Stanley
2pts Evens general


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Rose is a former Memorial champion who adores the layout
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