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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Matsuyama and McIlroy lurking over the shoulder of leader

Walker the surprise Firestone pacesetter

Rory McIlroy will be pleased with his Firestone position
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Jimmy Walker was a 150-1 ante-post rag for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but the tall Texan fired a second-round 65 to move two shots clear at the top of the leaderboard.

Walker, who will defend his USPGA Championship title next week, has been slashed to 7-1 for glory at Firestone Country Club, Ohio.
Thomas Pieters leads the pursuit of Walker, the Belgian bomber alone in second place, while two of the biggest names in the sport are tied for third spot. Rory McIlroy and Hideki Matsuyama are four under par, three off the pace.

Open champion Jordan Spieth is still very much in the picture in the logjam for sixth place, four behind, while former world number one Jason Day is on the same score.

Jon Rahm followed his opening 67 with a Friday 77 to fall 11 shots adrift, while a 75 from Dustin Johnson left the world number one with a ten-shot weekend deficit.

Matsuyama (7-1), McIlroy (4-1) and Pieters (10-1) are the trio who outright punters should be concentrating on, while the best third-round twoball option may be Kevin Chappell (5.40pm).

Chappell is a strong ball-striker who was in imperious form with his driver throughout the Canadian Open last week. His playing partner Thongchai Jaidee has a much more brittle long-game, which is likely to be exposed on such a tough track over the weekend.

Bernd Wiesberger should be too consistent from tee to green for Paul Lawrie in the 3.50pm match. A Chappell and Wiesberger double is a solid bet.

The weather played a major role over the first two rounds, causing scheduling problems, but a calmer outlook for the weekend means standard groupings and timings. Play resumes at 12.50pm UK and Ireland time, with the final twoball of Walker and Pieters on the tee at 7pm.

Twoball recommendations
K Chappell
3pts 4-6 Betfair, Hills, Power

B Wiesberger
2pts 8-11 Betfair, Power

Chappell is a strong ball-striker who was in imperious form with his driver throughout the Canadian Open last week
E.W. Terms
Sky bet