Steve Palmer’s Open Championship second-round three-ball preview, best bets | Sports News

Andrew Redington

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Robert McIntyre had six birdies in the first round

Andrew Redington

where to watch

Sky Sports Main Event and Golf, 6:30 a.m. Friday

Best bets

Robert MacIntyre will win the threeball at 1:26 p.m.
2pts 8-5 bet365

Cameron Smith will win the threeball at 1:04 p.m.
2pts 11-10 bet365

Lucas Herbert will win the threeball at 12:31 p.m.
1pt 29-20 bet365


Cameron Young humbled the Old Course on day one of The Open Championship, but it’s notoriously difficult to follow one super low round with another, especially when you’re up front on your debut in the biggest tournament of them all.

Young will have surprised himself with his 64 at home golf. The 25-year-old has missed the cut in four of the five Majors he has played, so he has struggled to settle into the most prestigious events on the calendar quickly. He managed to find a rhythm early Thursday when he was out of the spotlight, but the pressure will be much more intense on the first tee Friday noon.

Young, who has never won on the PGA Tour and played virtually no golf in his short career, seems a short price to throw in winning his Friday three-ball. The New Yorker seems worth pitting against local boy Robert MacIntyre, who himself played some good golf in the first round.

MacIntyre had six birdies in 70 on a familiar track. The Scottish southpaw seems well able to get into the thick of it and build on his impressive Open record. He’s finished sixth and eighth in his previous two Opens, and he’s never missed a cut in his previous nine Majors.

Kyoung-hoon Lee, like Young, is an Open rookie still learning the ropes in the links court, and the Korean has missed the cut in five of his previous seven Majors.

Australian pair Cameron Smith and Lucas Herbert are comfortable with this week’s mission and can also be imagined for their three-ball missions on Friday afternoon, especially with a moderate breeze expected for the second nine of their rounds.

Smith’s rocking ability matters a lot this week, with St Andrews setting up countless long-range putts. The UK is in the throes of a heatwave and the country’s most famous routes will only firm up and pick up speed as the week progresses.

Smith has one of the best short games on the circuit, while his compatriot Herbert has excelled in that area this season. Both Australians can be expected to build on their positive first rounds – a 67 and a 70, respectively.

Smith finished six strokes ahead of the increasingly inconsistent Brooks Koepka and Open debutant Seamus Power in round one, and he looks likely to pick up another victory.

Phil Mickelson hasn’t played much golf lately and has failed to impress when he has, so the 12:31 band seems to be between Herbert and Kurt Kitayama. Herbert’s class near the hole and his obvious love of links golf make him the value option.

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Ruth J. Leeds