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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Matt Wallace can secure his fourth European Tour title

Lee Westwood setting pace in Denmark

Horse owner Lee Westwood (left) is top of the leaderboard
1 of 1

Sky Sports Golf, 11.30am Sunday

Story so far
Lee Westwood is threatening his first European Tour victory for more than four years and his first on mainland Europe for more than six years – the Worksop Wonder leads the Made In Denmark by a shot with 18 holes to play.

Westwood, who has ten Ryder Cup caps but is set for a vice-captaincy role at the famous competition this year, made a double-bogey at his final hole of round three. But that setback was not enough to dethrone him from pole position at the Silkeborg Ry Club.

Westwood, a best-price 45-1 ante-post, is 5-2 favourite heading into the final round, chasing his first European Tour triumph since the 2014 Malaysian Open. He won the Indonesian Masters on the Asian Tour in 2015.

Westwood is a shot ahead of a trio of maidens – Thomas Detry, Jonathan Thomson and Steven Brown – with Matt Wallace alone in fifth place.

Matt Fitzpatrick needs to overcome a six-shot final-round deficit to keep alive his Ryder Cup qualification hopes with a victory, while Thorbjorn Olesen is in 30th place and Eddie Pepperell is 61st.

Leaderboard
-16 Lee Westwood
-15 Thomas Detry, Jonathan Thomson, Steven Brown
-14 Matt Wallace
-12 Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Callum Shinkwin
-11 Sam Horsfield, Erik Van Rooyen, Richard Sterne, Adrian Otaegui, Lucas Bjerregaard
-10 Matt Baldwin, Justin Walters, Matt Fitzpatrick, Aksel Olsen

Best prices
5-2 L Westwood, 16-5 T Detry, 4 M Wallace, 11 S Brown, J Thomson, 50 L Bjerregaard, C Shinkwin, 60 C Bezuidenhout, 66 E Van Rooyen, 70 A Otaegui, R Sterne, 80 bar

Final-day advice
Lee Westwood has won 23 times on the European Tour, but at the age of 45 he is not as clinical as he once was, and the 18th-hole double-bogey has made life much tougher for the frontrunner going into Sunday.

Everything was going serenely for Westwood, who has his girlfriend Helen Storey standing in for regular caddie Billy Foster this week, until a loose drive found water at the third-round curtain-closer. A potential three-shot buffer has become the most slenderest one possible and 5-2 does not look a price full of juice.

World number 383 Steven Brown is likely to be a bag of nerves alongside Westwood in the final group, while Thomas Detry and Jonathan Thomson, for all their talent, are also chasing a maiden European Tour title.

Racing Post Sport ante-post hope, Lucas Bjerregaard, seems likely to finish with a wet sail, along with Sam Horsfield, Erik Van Rooyen, Adrian Otaegui and Matt Fitzpatrick, but all have little margin for error from five or six shots behind.

The shape of the leaderboard will look extremely appealing to Matt Wallace, who has quickly become a prolific winner on the European Tour and will be sensing a fantastic opportunity of victory number four in Denmark.

Wallace won his maiden title by three shots in Portugal last year and has hoovered up the Indian Open and BMW International Open trophies this year. He is a six-time champion on the Alps Tour and clearly unafraid of back-nine battles.

From just two shots behind, Wallace, a 28-year-old who could be becoming a modern-day Westwood, can claim the silverware, and 4-1 is a fair price. Detry could be in line for the second runner-up spot of his promising career.

Outright recommendation
M Wallace
2pts 4-1 general


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Wallace won his maiden title by three shots in Portugal last year and has hoovered up the Indian Open and BMW International Open trophies this year
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