Relaxed Fowler the man to beat down Mexico way
Organisers trying to squeeze in 72 holes
Story so far
Bad weather has ravaged the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, leaving the tournament organisers playing catch-up going into Sunday. US Tour chiefs remain hopeful of completing a 72-hole event.
Five groups are yet to tee off in round three, so play is due to commence at 7.15am local time (12.15am UK and Ireland), the plan being round four will follow. There is no margin for error – any further suspensions would mean either a 54-hole tournament or a Monday finish. The former is more likely than the latter, given how unfashionable the Monday finish has become. A promising Sunday forecast makes 72 entirely possible.
Rickie Fowler is the man the bookmakers expect to triumph, no matter what the length of the race. The highest ranked player in the event and ante-post 9-1 favourite has reached ten under par through two rounds, enough to share the lead with Patton Kizzire and Patrick Rodgers. Fowler is yet to tee off in round three.
Fowler is a general 6-4 to successfully finish the job on his first Mayakoba visit. Kizzire and Rodgers are 8-1 apiece.
-10 Patton Kizzire (through 36 holes), Patrick Rodgers (36), Rickie Fowler (36)
-9 Brian Gay (36), Brandon Harkins (36), John Oda (36)
-8 Charles Howell (42), Ryan Moore (38), Russell Knox (38), Martin Piller (36)
6-4 R Fowler, 8 P Kizzire, P Rodgers, 14 B Gay, 20 R Moore, 28 B Harkins, 33 C Howell, R Knox, J Oda, S W Kim, 40 bar
Rather than be distracted by the holiday vibe of this trip to Mexico – Rickie Fowler has his girlfriend, potential in-laws and grandparents with him – the Californian has revelled in the relaxed atmosphere.
The low-grade event looks at the mercy of the class act of the field. Patton Kizzire and Patrick Rodgers are two nervous US Tour maidens alongside Fowler at the top of the leaderboard, while the trio of Brian Gay, Brandon Harkins and John Oda will not fill Fowler with fear either.
Gay is a former Mayakoba champion (2008) and Oda is a promising young player, but neither can be expected to live with Fowler, particularly on a rain-softened track where power has become more significant.
Charles Howell and Ryan Moore have made a bright start to round three and could enter the equation, while Si Woo Kim and Emiliano Grillo are still close enough to have a say in matters. But Fowler has laid an excellent foundation for the closing stages, whether that be another 18 or 36 holes, and should be extremely tough to beat from here.
On his Mayakoba debut after not playing since the Presidents Cup, Fowler was entitled to make a sluggish start, but he has produced the opposite. Logic suggests he should only gets stronger from this point onwards.
Fowler appeals at a shade of odds-on to win his third-round threeball (12.35pm) slightly more than he does at 6-4 outright.
2pts 20-21 bet365