Steve Palmer's Shriners Children's Open third-round preview, best bets
Sam Burns greatly impressing in bid for back-to-back PGA Tour success
Where to watch
Sky Sports Golf, 10pm Saturday
Matthew Wolff (8-11), Aaron Wise (4-5), Sam Burns (4-6), Sungjae Im (8-11)
1pt twoballs Yankee BoyleSports
Story so far
Sungjae Im and Chad Ramey share the lead going into the weekend of the Shriner's Children's Open at TPC Summerlin, while last week's PGA Tour champion is only one shot behind.
Im, 35-1 ante-post, is 100-30 with two rounds to play, while Ramey, a 150-1 chance, is 15-2 to claim a maiden Tour title in Las Vegas tomorrow.
Both the Korean and the 29-year-old from Mississippi, ranked 178th in the world, have reached 14 under par in a low-scoring event at Summerlin. Sunny, pleasant, calm conditions are forecast for the weekend, so the eventual champion will almost certainly be 20-something under par.
Last week's Sanderson Farms Championship winner, Sam Burns, is only one shot off the lead and vying for favouritism with Im. The pre-tournament 25-1 chance is a general 100-30 with 36 holes to play.
Viktor Hovland (eight under, six shots behind), Brooks Koepka (seven under, seven behind) and Scottie Scheffler (one under, missed cut) have disappointed their backers over the first two days. Webb Simpson, Paul Casey, Will Zalatoris, Harris English, Abraham Ancer and Patrick Reed all missed the cut.
-14 Sungjae Im, Chad Ramey
-13 Sam Burns, Adam Schenk
-12 Aaron Wise
-11 Andrew Putnam, Adam Hadwin, Matt Jones, Matthew Wolff, Rory Sabbatini, Harry Hall, Talor Gooch
100-30 S Im, S Burns, 8 C Ramey, 12 A Wise, A Schenk, M Wolff, 16 L Oosthuizen, 22 T Gooch, 28 A Hadwin, C Hoffman, 35 M Jones, 40 V Hovland, R Sabbatini, 50 bar
Sam Burns is looking more assured both on and off the golf course and the world number 18 has put himself in great position to challenge strongly for back-to-back PGA Tour triumphs.
Burns had a brief celebration in the clubhouse at the Country Club of Jackson after his Sanderson Farms Championship glory last week, then made the two-hour journey to his home, sleeping in his own bed on Sunday night. He has clearly freshened up enough for a focused Shriners effort.
Burns had a month off prior to the Sanderson Farms and appears hungry for trophies after narrowly missing out on a Ryder Cup place. Aside from finding water with his tee-shot at the 17th hole in round one, Burns has glided serenely along TPC Summerlin, making 15 birdies.
The 25-year-old topped the tee-to-green statistics in the Sanderson Farms by a long way, gaining almost 15 shots on the field, and Burns lies second in that stat for the first two rounds of the Shriners. His putting has improved from last week - with a positive strokes-gained-putting figure for both rounds - so the two-time Tour champion appears to have everything in place for a strong final two rounds in Vegas.
The main dangers to Burns are arguably Sungjae Im, Matthew Wolff and Aaron Wise. Im has gone bogey-free for the first 36 holes, chasing his second Tour victory, while Wolff has been deadly with his approaches. Aside from a triple-bogey at the third hole (his 12th) in round two, Wolff has impressed, and in last year's Shriners he carded a Saturday 61.
Wise has lived in Las Vegas for five years and knows Summerlin better than the other title contenders. His coach teaches out of Summerlin. Wise has been in solid nick lately and his Shriners hopes will probably be decided by whether his broomhandle putter behaves or not.
Burns (25-1) and Wolff (45-1) were Racing Post Sport pre-tournament recommendations. Some cover on Im (100-30) and Wise (12-1) might be sensible at this stage, although it is 19 months since Im last won, and Wise has much to prove on the greens.
Third-round twoball punters are pointed towards a Yankee (six doubles, four trebles and one fourfold) on the perceived main four title contenders. Burns (8.50pm UK and Ireland time against Adam Schenk), Wolff (8.20pm against Rory Sabbatini), Im (9pm against Chad Ramey) and Wise (8.40pm against Andrew Putnam) can be fancied to boss their matches.
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