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Steve Palmer's Masters third-round preview, best bets, free golf tips

Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson set to be joined by Jon Rahm at top of board

Jon Rahm has a chance to go clear in front at Augusta
1 of 1

When to watch

Sky Sports Main Event and Golf, 12.30pm Saturday

Best bet

65 & over lowest tournament round
2pts 6-5 bet365

Abraham Ancer 71 or over in round three
1pt Evens bet365

Story so far

The second round of the Masters will resume at 12.30pm UK and Ireland time, before the cut is made, then the third round starts, meaning the tournament should be back on track by sunset on Saturday night.

A three-hour thunder delay on Thursday left the event organisers playing catch-up to get 72 holes in by Sunday night, but much better weather on Friday and the forecast for a clear weekend means the Green Jacket should be presented on schedule.

A chilly start to Saturday is expected at Augusta National, with temperatures of 14 degrees, not moving above 20 degrees until lunchtime. The cool will not help those left on the course make progress, but Hideki Matsuyama and Jon Rahm are close enough to threaten the halfway lead.

Matsuyama has 16, 17 and 18 to play, sitting eight under par, one behind, while Rahm will have a birdie putt from five feet at the 13th hole when he returns. That would take the Spaniard into a share of the lead at nine under par and he would expect to hit double-figures from there.

Abraham Ancer, Cameron Smith, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson are all tied for the lead in the clubhouse and will have to wait patiently for round three. Pre-tournament favourite Bryson DeChambeau is one over par through 12 holes of round two, outside of the cut-line, but he will have an eagle putt from 17 feet at the 13th when he returns.

Leaderboard (holes played)
-9 Abraham Ancer (36), Cameron Smith (36), Justin Thomas (36), Dustin Johnson (36)
-8 Patrick Cantlay (36), Sungjae Im (36), Hideki Matsuyama (33), Jon Rahm (30)

Selected others (holes played)
-7 Tommy Fleetwood (36), Justin Rose (36), Louis Oosthuizen (30)
-6 Patrick Reed (29), Paul Casey (29), Xander Schauffele (30)
-5 Phil Mickelson (36), Brooks Koepka (36)
-4 Tiger Woods (28)
-3 Rory McIlroy (36)
+1 Bryson DeChambeau (30)

Best prices
100-30 J Rahm, 5 D Johnson, 6 J Thomas, 14 P Cantlay, 16 H Matsuyama, 18 L Oosthuizen, 20 X Schauffele, 22 C Smith, 25 A Ancer, 28 B Koepka, T Fleetwood, 30 J Rose, S Im, T Woods, 33 P Casey, P Reed, 40 R McIlroy, 55 bar

Third-round preview

The Masters is wide open going into the weekend, with several big names jostling for position as we approach the halfway stage, and it is difficult to be overly confident about outright wagers.

The pre-tournament favourite is certainly struggling to live up to his billing - Bryson DeChambeau has plenty of ground to make up and needs to negotiate the cut-mark first - but most of the other main contenders are safely through to round three. Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Wolff have missed the cut, but other fancied runners are swarming over the leaderboard and well-backed Spaniard Jon Rahm is giving his supporters a thrilling run for their money.

Rahm, seeking his Major breakthrough this week, will fancy his chances of ending round two in the lead, and the 8-11 chalked up about Betway about that scenario is a tempting option. If he converts from five feet for birdie on 13, Rahm will join the lead, then have five holes left to edge in front. A birdie can be expected at 15, so if he avoids trouble on the others, a ten-under-par mark is well within his compass.

There are no guarantees, though, that Rahm slips into the same groove he had on Friday, particularly with so much chill in the air, so playing at odds-on is probably not worth it.

The Green Jacket may be contested by Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Rahm, with Patrick Cantlay, Hideki Matsuyama and others - maybe even Rory McIlroy now he has belatedly clicked into gear - filling the each-way places.

Punters seeking extra investments, though, are pointed towards the 6-5 about the best round of the week being 65 or over. The best so far is 65 - and Rahm could be on his way to matching it in round two - and conditions seem set to get drier and more difficult for the weekend. There is even a bit of breeze forecast for Sunday at the end of a calm week.

If Rahm fails to post a 64, then it seems likely 65 will be the best effort of the week, so odds-against that scenario seems fair.

Abraham Ancer is a PGA Tour maiden making his Masters debut. The Mexican has performed superbly to hit the leaderboard summit, but round three will be an enormous test of character and the evens about a round of 71 or worse seems fair.


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The Masters is wide open going into the weekend, with several big names jostling for position as we approach the halfway stage
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