According to Ben Coley, Jon Rahm is the favorite to win his third Open de Espana title, but Min Woo Lee may have something to say about it.
Open de Espana final round
- 1 point Min Woo Lee to win the Open de Espana at 4/1 (General)
- 4pts At 11/10, Jorge Campillo will win his three-ball ( OKBET Sports Betting)
On Saturday evening, Jon Rahm’s bid to match Seve Ballesteros with a third Open de Espana title began to take shape, and the home favourite is odds-on to convert a one-stroke lead on Sunday.
Rahm nearly fell off the leaderboard on Friday as the tournament threatened to get away from him, but a back-nine rally kept him on track and set the stage for what many will have felt was an unavoidable move to the top of the leaderboard.
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It took some time, but after a fine par save on the 17th kept his card clean, he drove the 18th green to ensure he was out on his own. It’s a position he’ll expect to win, and with only one player within two, there’s a strong case to be made that you’ll see worse 8/13 shots.
The identity of the player in second is the stumbling block. Rahm had 128 players to beat this week, and MIN WOO LEE would be at the top of the list of rivals who can live with him even in this mood, barring perhaps Tommy Fleetwood.
It’s not just that Lee is taller than Rahm; he also has star power and has already won a larger prize than this one. The Australian can be extremely frustrating, but his A-game is ridiculously good.
With all due respect to the six players tied for third, three behind Rahm, if any of them traded places with Lee, this tournament would be over. But, with a player like Lee, who holed a clutch putt of his own on the 18th to keep Rahm close, the outcome remains uncertain for the time being. He has a unique talent.
Of course, Rahm is, and beating him on a Sunday in Spain will necessitate Lee’s career-best performance. In fact, it almost seems unreasonable to discuss anything other than a Rahm victory, and yet odds of 4/1 on the second-favourite in what appears to be a two-horse race look worth taking, albeit at stakes that pay homage to the leader.
Rahm’s record from the front is good, but not spectacular, and he doesn’t have a lot of experience in this type of situation. He was two clear with a round to go in Mexico in May and, yes, won the tournament, but a final-round 69 wasn’t particularly convincing. Granted, neither was his overall condition at the time.
Prior to that, his previous 54-hole lead dates back to the summer of 2020, when he shot 75 to win the Memorial. On an absurd Sunday, that was a decent score, and the outcome was never in doubt. Earlier that year, when second, he failed to convert a one-shot lead at the Farmers, and he did the same in the 2019 PLAYERS Championship, finishing 12th.
He’s one-for-one at this level, the DP World Tour, and it came in Spain when he won this title on this course in 2019. Back then, he led by five points and won by five points, with the outcome remaining certain throughout the final round. But we’re not talking about a five-shot lead; we’re talking about a one-shot lead, and while we’re not talking about the PGA Tour, we’re talking about an opponent who has the potential to win at that level in the coming years.
Prices dictate bets, and with those available, I have to give Lee a chance to make a statement. He defeated Matt Fitzpatrick to win the Scottish Open last summer, and he is fully capable of defeating Rahm to win the Open de Espana on Sunday.
The best bet of the day is in the three-balls, where JORGE CAMPILLO can oblige at a slight disadvantage.
Campillo has had a typical solid year, finishing 40th in the Race to Dubai and on track to compete in the DP World Tour Championship. We know exactly where we stand with him, and he hasn’t even had to be at his best to be in the top ten here.
Alejandro Canizares is not to be dismissed outright, but he is ranked 169th in the season-long standings and is under intense pressure to climb the leaderboard here and then salvage things at his home course, Valderrama, next week.
It’s possible that he became ragged near the end of round three, holing a good putt for bogey at the 17th and then scrambling par after a chunked chip at the 18th.
Nonetheless, he is the main threat because Dave Coupland has had a terrible year, finishing 261st in the Race to Dubai and thus among the bottom five or six players on the circuit. He’s put the lights out this week, as he often does, but Sunday will be a big test for someone who hasn’t earned a cheque since May, save for a mid-pack finish on the EuroPro Tour in July.
Coupland’s expected score has to be in the 70s even with fair conditions, so taking out 25% of the book seems a long shot, and, without dwelling on it, this should be a match between two Spaniards. Choose the better player with the longer game and the freedom to attack at an extremely generous 11/10.