Houston Open: Steve Palmer's third-round preview, best bets, free golf tips – Racing Post

Peter Malnati is setting the pace

Michael Reaves

When to watch

Sky Sports Golf, 9pm Saturday

Best bet

Lanto Griffin to win the Houston Open
1pt each-way 9-1 Betway

Third-round preview

Darkness brought a premature end to the second round of the Houston Open and those on the leaderboard with holes to play will have been relieved to get off the course – strong winds made life difficult for the later starters.

A clear, cool, much calmer Saturday awaits the competitors, and Lanto Griffin, just two shots behind with five second-round holes to play, will feel he can edge closer to the lead.

Peter Malnati, ten under par through 36 holes, is the clubhouse leader. The 2015 Sanderson Farms Championship is his only PGA Tour title and he started this week 150-1.

Malnati has assumed favouritism at 11-2 for the low-grade gathering, with ante-post favourite Henrik Stenson nine shots behind him. Stenson has four second-round holes to play and will be playing his third shot at the par-five 15th from 109 yards when the action resumes at 2pm UK and Ireland time today.

Stenson has been left behind, Russell Henley unravelled in the Friday wind and finished alongside Stenson on the leaderboard, while Brian Harman and Daniel Berger are almost certain to miss the cut. It is a wide-open event and punters looking for a Saturday wager are pointed towards Griffin at 9-1 with Betway getting four each-way places – or at 8-1 with Hills getting five.

Griffin has started the new PGA Tour season in rock-solid fashion and with the par-five 15th on his morning menu, there is a fair chance he can sneak to within one shot of Malnati going into the final two rounds. The difficult par-four 18th must also be played, so Griffin may not advance his position, but from his current share of third place, this improver is in the thick of things.

Ante-post 50-1 selection, Beau Hossler, is still well in the hunt from five shots behind in the clubhouse and good value at 33-1 for punters wanting a bigger price, but adding Griffin to the stable could be a sensible option.

The third round will start soon after the second round concludes. The cut is projected to be made at level par.

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