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Farmers Insurance Open Round 3 Preview & Matchup Bet: 36-Hole Leaderboard Makes for Some Tough Decisions


Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images. Pictured: Jon Rahm and Collin Morikawa on the 18th green at Torrey Pines.

Life is full of important choices.

This phrase itself sounds like some t-shirt meme that shows a dozen different brands of beer bottles, but it could just as easily show the names and faces of every player on the 36-hole leaderboard at the Farmers Insurance Open.

OK, so the same could be said for every other golf tournament, but this one feels like it’s taken on a special measure of decision-making.

Odds as of Friday evening and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.

Want to live bet a superstar to win Sunday afternoon, such as Jon Rahm (+700 at T-12) Rory McIlroy (+900, T-17) or Tiger Woods (+1100, T-17)? Those aren’t exactly great odds for guys who are each currently outside the top-10 and at least five shots back.

Want to stick with one of the halfway leaders who’ll be playing in the final threesome in Saturday’s third round, Ryan Palmer (+400, leading by two), Brandt Snedeker (+700, solo second) or J.B. Holmes (+2800, T-3)? They’re all proven winners, but all of ‘em will have to hold off a bevy of big-timers.

So, why is this decision tougher than others? Good question.

On most weeks, there’s a process of elimination. One or two players in the final group have never won before and will be feeling the greatest pressure of their careers during the impending round. Or maybe one of those superstars has the lead and feels like a difficult fade.

This one feels like a near-imperfect storm, with very few guys we can eliminate and the title seemingly more wide open than usual.

If I absolutely had to take a shot on a few outrights, it would be tough to pass on McIlroy and Rahm, each of whom we all know are capable of running away with things over the final 36 holes.

But if you’re looking at a more lusty number that could possibly pay off, I’m still bullish on two of my pre-tourney faves, Tony Finau (+2200, T-17) and Cameron Champ (+4000, T-12), plus Collin Morikawa (+2500, T-12), who continues to impress.

In fact, Morikawa tops my list of three-ball bets for the third round.

Round 3 Matchup

Collin Morikawa (-110) over Stewart Cink and Patrick Rodgers

As if we needed further proof of just how special Morikawa is, he offered it Friday when he posted a 3-under 69 on the South Course at Torrey Pines.

No, that’s not all.

He posted a 69 while playing alongside Woods and Rahm, in his first round ever at the South Course, while leading the field in strokes gained tee-to-green.

That’s some truly impressive stuff.

He’s easily the favorite against his two playing partners for the third round, but betting him in a three-ball will obviously help that price.

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