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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Sungjae Im can take advantage if Brandt Snedeker wobbles in front

Leader dominates betting going into Sunday

Kevin Tway is alone in second place
1 of 1

Sky Sports Golf, 10.30pm Sunday

Story so far
Brandt Snedeker shortened from 7-4 to 8-15 after carding a third-round 69 to extend his Safeway Open lead to four shots with 18 holes to play.

Snedeker, 22-1 ante-post, has dominated the event, reaching 16 under par through 54 holes, and bookmakers expect the experienced frontrunner to get the job done at the Silverado Resort, California.

Snedeker, a nine-time US Tour champion and the 2012 FedEx Cup winner, won the Wyndham Championship at the end of August and has carried that form to the Golden State. Four of his US Tour titles have come in California, so he loves performing in this part of the States.

A sunny, breezy day is expected for the final round. US Tour maidens Kevin Tway and Sungjae Im are the closest pursuers to Snedeker.

-16 Brandt Snedeker
-13 Kevin Tway
-12 Sungjae Im
-11 Bill Haas
-10 Sam Ryder, Aaron Baddeley, Chase Wright, Adam Schenk
-9 Harold Varner, Nate Lashley, Troy Merritt, Alex Prugh, Peter Malnati, Ryan Moore

Best prices
8-15 B Snedeker, 6 K Tway, 11 S Im, 25 B Haas, 50 A Baddeley, S Ryder, A Schenk, 66 bar

Final-day advice
Brandt Snedeker is a prolific winner in California and has made serene progress to 16 under par this week, closing round three with three consecutive birdies. The multi-millionaire is a big fish in a small pond this week and comfortable with his position.

Getting the favourite beat is not going to be straightforward, but the swing of Snedeker has technical flaws which can be exposed under Sunday pressure. There are certainly more reliable frontrunners from tee to green and 8-15 is no more than a fair price about him converting this chance.

If Snedeker's long-game shortcomings do result in him treading water in front, who will take advantage?

Eight of the next 13 names on the leaderboard are US Tour maidens, which will encourage Snedeker, but Sungjae Im will probably not be one for long. The brilliant Korean youngster is the best value alternative to Snedeker from just four shots behind.

Im was recommended each-way in the outright market at 25-1 on prior to round three, and the increasingly impressive 20-year-old is still well in the hunt. He has not made up any ground on Snedeker, but has moved into a share of third place, and can be fancied to lay down a strong Sunday title challenge.

Im has been hugely impressive on the Tour this year, a circuit on which he has won twice and finished runner-up three times. He has carried that form to California, is growing in confidence on his course debut, and should be hovering on Snedeker's shoulder should the leader show any weakness.

A press-up on Im at 11-1 is advised – it is a surprise to see double-figure quotes still available. Kevin Tway, who carries more Sunday battle scars and probably lacks as much self-belief as the fresh and progressive Im, is being given too much respect in the market.

Final-round threeball punters are pointed towards Kevin Streelman in the 7pm (UK and Ireland time) contest. Phil Mickelson appeared to lose both form and interest in round three – he has got much worse each day – and the more professional Streelman can beat Lefty and Carlos Ortiz.

Outright recommendation
S Im
1pt each-way 11-1 Betway

Threeballs recommendation
K Streelman
1pt 19-10 Betfred

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Im has been hugely impressive on the Tour this year, a circuit on which he has won twice and finished runner-up three times
E.W. Terms
Sky bet