Putting faith in Paul Dunne and Tyrrell Hatton could be prudent
Weather set to improve on Friday afternoon after early showers
Sky Golf & Main Event
A drizzle-softened course and hardly any breeze should make for the best scoring conditions of the week on the second afternoon of the Open Championship at Carnoustie and two excellent putters can get among the birdies.
Paul Dunne will appreciate the easier assignment and the Irishman, a short-game master who grew up playing links golf and is comfortable on this type of track, can leave his playing partners behind in the 12.31pm threeball.
Dunne, who famously led the Open after three rounds at St Andrews in 2015 when still an amateur, has won two European Tour events – one as an individual and one in a pairing with Gavin Moynihan – and both victories came in Britain. Dunne seems to love performing close to home and has already shown he can make waves in the biggest event of them all.
A steady round one from Dunne – 14 pars in a 71 – has laid the foundation for a decent week and he will be licking his lips when he sees the course set-up for round two.
Ross Fisher and Austin Cook, alongside Dunne over the first two days, are far less dangerous with the putter in hand, and may struggle to take advantage of the generous going.
Dunne beat Fisher by four shots and Cook by one over the opening 18 holes and last year's British Masters champion can deliver a repeat victory for his backers.
Tyrrell Hatton got off to a horror start in round one, slumping to four over par through seven holes, testing his fiery temperament, but he settled down from there, making ten pars and a birdie, and can improve in more suitable conditions in the second round.
Hatton is able to rip an easy links to shreds, as he has underlined with back-to-back Dunhill Links Championship victories over the last two years, and Carnoustie could be vulnerable to the Buckinghamshire boy and his deadly flat-stick.
Hatton is alongside Patrick Cantlay and Shane Lowry (12.42pm), two men who typically fail to sparkle on the greens, and Hatton, who finished sixth in the US Open last month and warmed up nicely for the Open with ninth place in the Scottish Open last week, can boss proceedings with his magic wand.
2pts 7-5 Betfair, Paddy Power
1pt 8-5 Betfair, Paddy Power
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