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


Ryan Fox is six shots behind going into the final round

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When to watch

Sky Sports Golf, 2.30am Sunday

Best bets

Min Woo Lee to win the Vic Open
2pts 5-6 bet365, Betfred

Richard Green to win threeball
1pt 19-10 Sky Bet

Story so far

Min Woo Lee leads the ISPS Handa Vic Open by three shots going into the final round, the brilliant Australian youngster magnificently handling tough Saturday conditions to take control of the event.

Lee, who has been a professional for just over a year, maintained great control in strong winds, highlighting how he has quickly matured into a force to be reckoned with at the age of 21, and an eagle at the final hole afforded the maiden some daylight going into Sunday.

Lee has carded nothing worse than a bogey all week – making just four in total – and 17 birdies have put him in pole position for a breakthrough success. His older sister, Minjee Lee, won the women’s version of the Vic Open at this venue two years ago. Minjee is in seventh place in this week’s edition of the Women’s Vic Open, which runs concurrently with the men’s event, so there is a chance of a Lee-Lee double if Minjee conjures a strong final round.

Min Woo Lee, a best-price 20-1 ante-post, is no bigger than 5-6 for victory with 18 holes to play. Travis Smyth and Marcus Fraser are tied for second place, and there is a further two-shot gap to those in fourth. Pre-tournament favourite, Haotong Li, missed the cut, while Lucas Herbert is tied for 20th place, eight shots behind Lee.

Leaderboard
-15 Min Woo Lee
-12 Marcus Fraser, Travis Smyth
-10 Robin Sciot-Siegrist, Ashley Hall, Anthony Quail, Matthew Millar
-9 Rikard Karlberg, Jed Morgan, Ryan Fox, Matthew Jordan

Best prices
5-6 M W Lee, 13-2 T Smyth, 9 M Fraser, 20 A Quayle, 28 R Fox, 30 M Millar, 40 A Hall, 45 M Jordan, 50 bar

Final-round preview

Min Woo Lee seems like a special talent – technically gifted, effortlessly powerful, clearly ultra-competitive but generally calm – and he proved on Saturday at the 13th Beach Club that even fierce winds will not knock him out of rhythm.

One player outscored Lee in round three, but that was Anthony Quayle, who teed off five hours before Lee (8.10am local time) without as much wind with which to contend. The best round of the day was undoubtedly that of Lee, who played his entire round in the teeth of the gale from a 1.10pm local time start, dropping only two shots all day.

Lee sensibly took a long time settling himself over his eagle putt on the final hole, the wind making it difficult for him to maintain balance and threatening to move his ball, and it was a hugely positive sign that he was able to roll his rock with such authority under enormous pressure from the weather gods and the leaderboard.

There is obviously plenty of work to be done to finish the job – more wind is forecast for Sunday and Lee is seeking his first victory as a pro – but confidence must be coursing through the veins of the Perth-based starlet. Growing up in that city means Lee is used to tackling strong breezes and he clearly has all the shots required.

Dangermen Lucas Herbert and Ryan Fox have probably left themselves too much Sunday work to do to catch Lee from deep on the board.

Lee was an ante-post Racing Post Sport recommendation at 20-1 and as he has such a significant buffer with regards to the each-way part of that investment, there are grounds for considering a press-up at 5-6. Marcus Fraser has admitted he is “working on some things” and taking technical changes into final-round title combat rarely works out well. Fraser has always been an excellent wind player, but a world ranking of 538 shows to what extent his career has faltered.

Travis Smyth has been in solid form, but four previous visits to the Vic Open at 13th Beach have resulted in four missed cuts, and that apparent course discomfort was on display in the middle of round three when he dropped five shots in seven holes. Over time, Lee can be fancied to prove in a completely different league to Smyth, and the younger man can repel his compatriot in Geelong.

Three-time European Tour champion, Richard Green, lives by the 13th Beach Club and that local knowledge makes him worth chancing to win the 10.39pm (UK and Ireland time) threeball against Niklas Lemke and Benjamin Poke.

The final threeball of Lee, Fraser and Smyth is scheduled to tee off at 1.18am UK and Ireland time, with Sky Sports Golf live coverage starting at 2.30am.


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