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

Matt Wallace won three times on the European Tour last year

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When to watch

Sky Sports Golf, 11.30am Sunday

Best bets

M Wallace & M Fitzpatrick dual forecast
1pt 6-1 Sky Bet

B Wiesberger & M Fitzpatrick dual forecast
1pt 7-1 Sky Bet

Story so far

Matthew Fitzpatrick leads the Italian Open by a shot going into the final round, the Sheffield man regaining his advantage with a strong Saturday finish, covering the closing six holes of Olgiata GC in four under par.

Fitzpatrick, a general 22-1 chance ante-post, has reached 13 under through 54 holes and is no bigger than 13-10 to convert his slender advantage into his first victory of the season.

Kurt Kitayama is alone in second place, with Robert MacIntyre another shot further behind, alone in third place. Matt Wallace and Bernd Wiesberger are tied for fourth spot, three shots off the pace.
Andrea Pavan is the leading Italian, sharing tenth place and six shots behind. Francesco Molinari missed the halfway cut by five shots, as did ante-post favourite Paul Casey.

-13 Matthew Fitzpatrick
-12 Kurt Kitayama
-11 Robert MacIntyre
-10 Matt Wallace, Bernd Wiesberger
-9 Soren Kjeldsen

Best prices
13-10 M Fitzpatrick, 11-2 K Kitayama, R MacIntyre, 15-2 M Wallace, 9 B Wiesberger, 50 bar

Final-round preview

Matthew Fitzpatrick has traditionally been a strong closer of golf tournaments, underlined by the fact the 25-year-old has five European Tour titles in his locker, but over the last year he has made a habit of finishing runner-up and the near-misses may play on his mind on Sunday at Olgiata.

Fitzpatrick lost a duel with Aaron Rai at the end of November, starting his sequence of disappointment, then a fast-finishing Francesco Molinari denied him in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in the middle of March.

At the end of June, Fitzpatrick lost a playoff to Andrea Pavan for the BMW International, then two months later the Englishman suffered more heartbreak. Despite a final-round 64, he lost by a shot to European Tour maiden Erik van Rooyen in the Scandinavian Invitation.

Of course, Fitzpatrick has done well to give himself so many winning opportunities and has been playing well for most of the season, but it has been a frustrating spell letting potential silverware slip away.

Olgiata, particularly in the warm sunshine forecast for Sunday afternoon, suits Fitzpatrick well and there is every chance he finally gets his hands on a trophy. He has four serious rivals just behind him on the leaderboard, though, so odds-against quotes are understandable. None of the four chief chasers is easy to rule out.

Kurt Kitayama has quickly won twice on the European Tour and proven his bottle, so, although tree-lined Olgiata does not seem natural terrain for the often erratic American powerhouse, he is a dangerous competitor.

Robert MacIntyre is enjoying a magnificent rookie campaign in which he has finished runner-up three times and the calm Scot seems even more of a threat than Kitayama, while Matt Wallace and Bernd Wiesberger will still feel very much in the hunt from three behind.

Wallace, a prolific winner in Italy on the Alps Tour, has played some magnificent golf over the last five months and could finally be rewarded with some silverware with a strong final round in Rome. And Wiesberger has won twice in that same five-month period – the Made In Denmark and Scottish Open – so is impossible to discount either.

Wallace was Racing Post Sport’s headline selection ante-post at 25-1 – and hopes are still high that the fiery 29-year-old can get the job done from the penultimate twoball – but a thrilling five-way shootout could be in store if Fitzpatrick fails to make early Sunday strides.

Punters getting involved in the outright market at this stage are pointed towards the 15-2 about Wallace and the 9-1 about Wiesberger – the pair have ten European Tour titles between them and the firepower to quickly deal with their three-shot deficit. The 13-10 Fitzpatrick is fair, but the value lies in the juice about Wallace and Wiesberger.

Sky Bet have issued a dual-forecast market and supporting Wallace and Wiesberger with Fitzpatrick could prove a sensible tactic. If Fitzpatrick wobbles, one or both of the attacking, powerful duo at ten under par seems likely to waiting to duel down the stretch.
Fitzpatrick and Kitayama tee off at 11.50am UK and Ireland time in the final pairing.

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