Steve Palmer’s Charles Schwab Challenge third round preview, best bets | Sports News


Andy Lyons

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Chris Kirk was colonial champion seven years ago

Andy Lyons

where to watch

Red Button Sky Sports Golf, 2 p.m. Saturday

Best bets

Chris Kirk will win the twoball at 7:40 p.m.
2pts 4-5 Betfair, Power

Davis Riley will win the twoball at 7:30 p.m.
2pts 4-7 Betfair, Power

Russell Knox will win the twoball at 6:15 p.m.
1pt Evens Betfair, Power

History so far

Scottie Scheffler holds a share of the lead heading into the Charles Schwab Challenge weekend and the world number one is a 7-4 overall for victory at Colonial Country Club.

Scheffler missed the US PGA Championship cut last week but the Texas-based star has bounced back in his home country and will join Patrick Reed at 7.50pm (UK & Ireland time) at two balls.

The 8 p.m. game will feature Scott Stallings and Beau Hossler, who are tied with Scheffler in the standings. Scheffler was available in a 12-1 pre-tournament, while Stallings (200-1) and Hossler (250-1) were far behind in the bets.

US PGA Champion Justin Thomas missed the cut by two shots. His mate Jordan Spieth is just four strokes off the lead, while Collin Morikawa has a ten-stroke deficit to make up for the weekend.

-9 Scott Stallings, Beau Hossler, Scottie Scheffler
-8 Patrick Roseau
-7 Pat Perez, Chris Kirk
-6 Max McGreevy, Davis Riley, Cam Davis, Viktor Hovland, Harold Varner
-5 Jordan Spieth, John Huh, Webb Simpson

Best prices
7-4 S Scheffler, 8 P Reed, 10 S Stallings, V Hovland, 11 B Hossler, 12 J Spieth, C Kirk, 22 H Varner, D Riley, 33 P Perez, W Simpson, 40 C Davis, 66 bar

Preview of the third round

Scottie Scheffler was on the wrong side of a major draw bias in the US PGA Championship last week – and the 25-year-old appears to have quickly shrugged off his failure at Southern Hills.

Scheffler produced an inconsistent and moody performance in the second Major of the season, but perhaps the weekend and a few days out of the golf spotlight did him the most good. He’s bogey-free at Colonial this week and looked in cruise control.

Scheffler never made an impact in this event, with form numbers of 55-MC, but he’s become a much more experienced and confident player since those flops. Clearly from this position he is the rightful favorite.

Scott Stallings hasn’t won in over eight years, while Beau Hossler is still a young PGA Tour girl. Patrick Reed and Chris Kirk will likely remain in the rankings, but the most serious title threats for Scheffler could come from Jordan Spieth, Viktor Hovland, Davis Riley and Webb Simpson.

Spieth, due to his comfort in Colonial and his class experience, managed to get into the mix without having his best stuff. A Friday afternoon of lineup work should have set up Colonial’s regular contender for a strong weekend.

Hovland has also put his name on the leaderboard and deserves great respect, Riley looks likely to make his PGA Tour breakthrough sooner rather than later, while Simpson could be in the business end if he continues to find fairways and putts with as much ease as he has in the first two days.

Keeping the faith with pre-tournament pick Spieth seems the best course of action at this point. Spieth was clearly licking his lips about the weather forecast during his post-tour interview on Friday. A hot and windy weekend awaits, so Spieth’s feel, fighting qualities and scrambling ability should see him rise from his current share of 12th place. On a windy Texas track he knows like the back of his hand, expect Spieth to handle the test better than most, hoping to close in on Scheffler as the finish line looms.

The third-round two-ball bettors are headed to Kirk, the 2015 Colonial champion, who should be too solid for Pat Perez (7:40 p.m.). Davis Riley can outclass Max McGreevy (7.30), while Russell Knox’s ability to find fairways and manage the wind makes the Scot an attractive option against Chad Ramey (6:15 p.m.).

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