Ordinarily, I’d be telling you that one famous golfer has landed the biggest cash prize in golf by winning the Players Championship yesterday evening.
However, stormy conditions across Florida over the duration of the tournament mean that the 71 remaining players after the cut are yet to complete their third rounds and will do so today, with play starting in the early morning.
The good news is that weather conditions do appear favorable for a Monday finish, but more storms are forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday, which is why tournament organizers want to get the tournament in the bag.
Then, the players will be back out on the course a very short time later to start their fourth and final round as tournament organizers seek to get the tournament completed today.
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Lahiri Leads The Way Before Third Round Restarts
Ahead of today’s early morning restart of the third round, Indian Anirban Lahiri leads the tournament on 9-under-par, with Tom Hoge and Harold Varner III chasing at -8.
Three players are one shot further back on -7, Sebastain Munoz, Paul Casey and Sam Burns and there are three other players at -6, Cameron Smith, Francesco Molinary and Daniel Berger.
There are then a big group of players at scores of between -2 and -5 who will still feel they can make a charge up the leaderboard and that includes the likes of Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland (both -2), Ian Poulter (-3), Justin Thomas, Tyrell Hatton, Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia (-4).
First round leader, Tommy Fleetwood is one of a number of players at -5, including Kevin Kisner, Shane Lowry and Joel Dahmen.
With players having between 2 and 10 holes to complete of the third round today, before the fourth round gets underway, it is going to be a very interesting and rare finish on Monday for these golfers.
Nice Payout For BetMGM Punters
If you recall, last week we brought you details of BetMGM Sportsbook’s offer for a free $17 bet should any player in the field score a hole in one on the iconic 17th “Island Green” hole in the tournament.
Well, lucky punters who took up that offer will find a free bet of $17 in their account this morning after Shane Lowry of Ireland made light work of the blustery conditions at Sawgrass to knock his tee shot within eight feet of the hole and then he watched the ball spin back and land in the cup during his second round.
It was the first hole in one on the 17th of the Championship, but given the stormy weather conditions, it is not surprising that this is the case. Indeed, landing on the green during the first three rounds of the tournament has been difficult enough in the windy conditions.
My colleague Collin Hulbert also handed punters a brilliant call in backing Joe Dahmen to finish in the top 40 (Dahmen is currently tied 11th at -5 having played 12 holes of his third round).
He also backed Shane Lowry to finish in the top five (Lowry is currently tied 11th, just one shot off a top five spot), while his other top five tip, Sergio Garcia is just one shot further back than Lowry.
Meanwhile Collin’s tip for a top ten finish, Justin Thomas lies just a couple of shots off that mark in tied 18th at present.
BetMGM Latest Odds
BetMGM Sportsbook now has Sam Burns as the 7/1 favorite to win the tournament, with Tom Hoge 15/2, Paul Casey 17/2 and Cameron Smith 10/1. The current leader, Anirban Lahiri, is still a 14/1 chance to win the tournament.
Justin Thomas is 16/1 as he seeks to become the first player to win back-to-back Players Championship titles with Shane Lowry 22/1 and Tommy Fleetwood now a 25/1 chance.
The action is just about to get underway at Sawgrass in what promises to be an exciting day of golf ahead.