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Rahm is the man to beat but Tanihara could contend

Japanese ace is a solid option

Hideto Tanihara represents a solid alternative to Jon Rahm
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Final round
Sky Sports 4, 12.30pm

Story so far

A host of big names lined up at the Irish Open and one of them, Jon Rahm, shares the lead going into the final day of play.

Rahm has made mincemeat of Portstewart's four par five's this week, scoring ten-under on the fourth, seventh, 13th and 14th holes to help post a score of -17 after three rounds. He is even-money favourite to taste success on just his second European Tour start.

Joining Rahm at the top of the leaderboard is unfancied American Daniel Im. 

Im was available to back at a treble-figure price ante-post but now he's just 7-1 as he looks to go wire-to-wire. The 32-year-old must now handle the pressured Sunday environment.

Benjamin Hebert slipped to one back on Saturday but is not without a chance while Olympic champion Justin Rose is four shots back, although he will have to go low if he is to return to the winners circle for the first time since Rio.


-17 Daniel Im, Jon Rahm
-16 Benjamin Hebert
-15 Hideto Tanihara
-14 Julien Quesne
-13 Ryan Fox, Justin Rose, Oliver Fisher, Scott Hend
-12 Matthew Southgate, Bradley Dredge

Best prices

Evs J Rahm, 7 D Im, 8 H Tanihara, 10 B Hebert, 12 J Rose, 33 R Fox, J Quesne, 45 O Fisher, 50 S Hend, T Fleetwood, 66 bar.

Final-round advice

Spanish sensation Rahm is the man they all have to beat going into the final day of play at Portstewart but the 22-year-old has showed signs of frustration in recent weeks. 

He lost control of his temper at Erin Hills as his US Open challenge got off to a terrible start and he has been at it again this week in Northern Ireland, slamming his putter down on the green in disgust when he missed a five-foot par putt.

Yet he is the most talented of any of the players within three shots of the lead and bookmakers are understandably reluctant to offer anything bigger than even-money about a Rahm victory.

While he is obviously the most likely winner, the Spaniard could be caught on a track where low scores look likely once again. 

Im, with a share of the lead, is an obvious alternative to the favourite. The American has played solid golf all week but the stresses and strains of constantly being in the mix are likely to take a toll on the 32-year-old.

The same can be said of Hebert. The Frenchman was a prolific Challenge Tour winner but must prove he has mentality to contend in this company.

Justin Rose's name leaps off the page. The Olympian has stalked the leaders throughout the tournament and has played solid golf this week. He needs the putter to get hot if he is to reel in Rahm and Im but a four-shot gap will be tough to bridge and he is not great value at 12-1.

Hideki Matsuyama was meant to be the Japanese player making waves this week but compatriot Hideto Tanihara is just two back and makes more appeal than most.

Tanihara is a 14-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour and the 38-year-old has enjoyed his forays onto both the European and PGA Tour circuits this season - including when losing out in the semi-finals of the WGC Match Play against Dustin Johnson.

He knows how to perform when the pressure is on and it would be no surprise to see him put up a bold bid. He has played near-faultless golf this week, making just two bogeys through 56 holes, and punters can consider backing him each-way at 8-1 with three places still available.

H Tanihara to win Irish Open
1pt e-w 8-1 Coral, Ladbrokes

Bookmakers are understandably reluctant to offer anything bigger than even-money about a Rahm victory
E.W. Terms
Sky bet