British Open Round 3 Best Bets: Patrick Cantlay Has Longshot Value
(Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/R&A/R&A via Getty Images) Pictured: Patrick Cantlay.
Mostly benign weather conditions throughout the day Friday at St. Andrews led to some good scoring opportunities and a number of players were able to move up the leaderboard. It was Cameron Smith's turn to go low and he shot an 8-under 64. He was able to stretch out to 13-under on the week and is two shots ahead of first-round leader Cameron Young.
Smith came out hot with birdies on each of his first three holes on his way to an opening nine 5-under 31. He then added an eagle at the par-5 14th when he drained a long putt of over 60 feet. Young had a good round of his own on Friday and the two Camerons will tee off together from the final pairing on Saturday afternoon. They'll follow two stars in Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland, the other two players starting the weekend double digits under par.
In total there are 10 players within six shots of the lead and with weather conditions expected to be quiet on Saturday and even more so on Sunday, we should see an opportunity for some really low rounds. I'll still be shopping for value going into moving day as I think there will be some players from the back moving into position for top finishes even if they are too far back realistically to win.
Patrick Cantlay: +2800
If I had to take a player to come from behind, I am not biting on the super short odds. I'll drop down to a guy like Patrick Cantlay who we know can go really low at times and if he can do that Saturday he could move within a couple shots of the lead — or even better — to give us some value into Sunday. I was on Cantlay around these same odds to start the week and after a sluggish opening round he started to show some of the play that had him charging up the leaderboard on Sunday at the Scottish Open. He seems to be finding some of the form that made him the Player of the Year last season. He's the guy, with value, who I'd be willing to take a shot with from further back going into Moving Day at The Open.
Sahith Theegala: Top 10 (+210)
I've been bullish on Sahith Theegala all year, but I was skeptical of what he could do in his first Open Championship. He snuck into the field after Daniel Berger withdrew due to injury and the young player has taken full advantage. Theegala has put together consecutive rounds in the 60s to open the tournament and has been solid in every aspect of his game through the first two rounds.
He will start the weekend six shots back of the lead and it's hard to imagine his maiden win coming at the Open, so I'll look for him in other markets. He has some value for a top-10 type of finish and also in both DFS and matchups going into Round 3.
Shane Lowry: Top 10 (+300)
I'll double down on the game of Shane Lowry. He was arguably the second best player on the golf course Friday and was bogey-free through 15 holes. He got stuck in the bunker on the Road Hole and it led to a round stopping double bogey. However, the Irishman didn't blink and got both shots back with birdies on his final two holes to close the first two rounds at 4-under. He is playing like a guy who should be in the top 10. He's just three shots short of that position, so that is where I will put my target going into the weekend. He'll also be a staple for me in matchups and DFS on Saturday.