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Billy Horschel is oozing confidence heading into round three
Where to watch
Sky Sports Golf red button, 1.45pm Saturday
Sam Burns & Billy Horschel to win 5.06pm match
3pts 8-11 Betfair, Power
Patrick Rodgers & Brandon Wu to win 4.53pm match
1pt 15-8 Betfair, Power
Story so far
Seven teams have detached themselves from the rest of the field in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, but with 36 holes to play at TPC Louisiana, there is still time for the chasing pack to make inroads.
The halfway cut has seen off most of the 80-team field – 39 pairs progressed to the weekend – and the combination of Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia was one of the most high-profile units to miss out on weekend employment.
Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele lead the way at 17 under par. The American duo, just behind Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa in the pre-tournament betting, have won points together in the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup and are seeking a first Zurich triumph together.
Hovland and Morikawa are general 50-1 chances from eight shots behind Cantlay and Schauffele. Sam Burns and Billy Horschel are second favorites heading into the weekend with a three-shot deficit.
Saturday’s round will be best-ball, with both players in a team teeing up their own ball and the best score on each hole counting towards the team total, then Sunday will be the much more challenging alternate-shot format.
-17 Patrick Cantlay & Xander Schauffele
-16 Aaron Rai & David Lipsky, Doc Redman & Sam Ryder
-15 Wyndham Clark & Cameron Tringale, Garrick Higgo & Branden Grace
-14 Jason Scrivener & Jason Day, Sam Burns & Billy Horschel
11-8 P Cantlay & X Schauffele, 11-2 S Burns & B Horschel, 8 A Rai & D Lipky, 10 W Clark & C Tringale, S Ryder & D Redman, 12 B Grace & G Higgo, 22 J Scrivener & J Day, M Leishman & C Smith, 40 bar
A breezy Saturday is set to be followed by a calmer Sunday at TPC Louisiana, with temperatures around 27C throughout, so birdies may not be as plentiful in round three as they were in round one.
Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele obviously deserve favoritism from the front, but there are reasons to ignore the best-price 11-8 against their names. Cantlay has been enduring a frustrating year of near-misses, including a playoff loss last Sunday in the RBC Heritage, while Schauffele is winless on the PGA Tour since January, 2019.
As comfortable as these friends are together, there is a fair chance they get edgy if Sunday turns into a tight foursomes finish, with Cantlay eager to kickstart his 2022 and Schauffele well aware of his PGA Tour victory drought. They are the most likely winners, but Sam Burns and Billy Horschel appear to represent superior value at 11-2 from three shots behind.
Burns and Horschel have been bouncing with cheer and laughter from the moment they have set foot at TPC Louisiana this week. They have a superb chemistry and seem a perfect foil for each other on the golf course. After recovering from a slow start in round two to post a 68, Burns and Horschel can be fancied to have a strong weekend.
There is a three-shot gap between the two teams tied for sixth place and the teams tied in eighth. It is too early to call this event a seven-team affair, but excellent golf will be required for the more distant pursuers to threaten the top of the leaderboard during a breezy round three.
The two standout teams on the leaderboard are Cantlay and Schauffele, and Burns and Horschel, and Saturday could be a case of those two duos shuffling into position for Sunday, setting up a foursomes shootout.
Burns and Horschel, Racing Post Sport 12-1 recommendations ante-post, would be the tip at 11-2 for punters keen to get involved in the outright market at this stage.
The third round starts at 1.39pm UK and Ireland time, with Cantlay and Schauffele out at 5.45pm. Burns and Horschel tee off at 5.05pm.
Third-round matches punters are pointed towards Burns and Horchel, who are on offer at a surprisingly big price against Russell Knox and Brian Stuard. The Louisiana man and the former FedEx Cup champion can be fancied to outgun the pair of plodders they have been drawn alongside.
Punters seeking bigger odds should consider Patrick Rodgers and Brandon Wu against Harold Warner and Bubba Watson. Rodgers and Wu are full of talent – and rookie Wu appears to be settling on the PGA Tour after a slow start.
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FIRST PUBLISHED 9:37 AM, APR 23 2022