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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

World number one Dustin Johnson in charge at Pebble Beach

Betting tips for the final round in California

Troy Merritt has had a decent week at Pebble Beach
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Live on Sky Sports Golf, 6pm Sunday

Ted Potter had a chance to card a 59 at Monterrey Peninsula in the third round of the Pebble Beach Pro Am on Saturday, but he could have been disappointed with an eventual 62 and he looks up against it in a share of the lead with world number one Dustin Johnson.

The action turns to the signature course for the final round and Johnson appears in control and is odds-on across the board to claim his third success in the tournament.

The venue for next year's US Open did show its teeth and while it will be hard for Johnson to forget the 82 he fired in the last round of the second Major in 2010 after heading into Sunday with the lead, he is made of stronger stuff now and there is a decent chance that his class will shine through.

The pair have a two-shot lead over the trio of Jason Day, who will be battling it out for those who backed him on Racing Post Sport's recommendation at 10-1 before the tournament, Steve Stricker and Troy Merritt.

Bookmakers understandably believe the Aussie will make the stronger challenge - Stricker tends to pick and choose his tournaments these days while Merritt not a seasoned challenger.

But it is possible that Merritt will not completely fall away.

The 32-year-old from Iowa could hardly have been a recommendation at the start of the tournament - he has never made the cut in six attempts at Pebble Beach and failed to make the weekend in all three turnouts in 2018.

However, he has played solidly this week - he scored 67 in his round at Pebble Beach on Thursday - and too much could be made of the fact that he dropped four shots in his final five holes at Monterey on Saturday.

His play has been excellent otherwise and while Day's likely charge prohibits a threeball investment at 9-2, it could be worth chancing Merritt to hang on to his top-five spot at 23-10.

Further down the list, Brian Gay is five shots off the pace and a title challenge may be unrealistic.

However, he has hit three rounds in the 60s this week, including a 68 at Pebble Beach on Saturday and while he has claimed just two top-20 finishes in nine attempts at the venue, he can maintain a top-ten spot which would match his achievements at last week's Phoenix Open.

T Merritt top-five finish
1pt 23-10 Betfred
B Gay top-ten finish
1pts 11-4 general

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Johnson appears in control and is odds-on across the board to claim his third success in the tournament
E.W. Terms
Sky bet