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These odds from Ladbrokes were correct at the time of writing.
With the Ryder Cup looming large, players on both teams are getting their final preparations in this weekend at two separate events. While members of Team Europe are warming up at the BMW PGA Championship in Southern England, a couple of Team USA players have been getting match-sharp at the Fortinet Championship in California.
After two days of action, Sahith Theegala and S.H. Kim have a share of the lead over the rest of the field although there is still plenty to play for with the field incredibly bunched. The two Ryder Cup players in action, Max Homa and Justin Thomas, are both in contention at the halfway stage and ahead of what looks set to be a thrilling third day of action, here are some free tips and predictions.
Fortinet Championship 2023 day two predictions and tips
Sahith Theegala to win the tournament
Sahith Theegala may consider himself to be slightly unfortunate not to have been selected by Zach Johnson for the USA Ryder Cup Team. The 25-year-old has shown some good form this season, with seven top-ten finishes to his name but his lack of wins probably worked against him, as well as a string of missed cuts in June and July.
Despite missing out, Theegala has played sensationally so far in California and on Friday he carded an eight-under-par round of 64. Coupled with his opening round of 68, the American sits on top of the tree on -12 alongside S.H. Kim and will be desperate to kick on over the weekend to secure his first-ever PGA Tour victory.
Theegala carded seven birdies and an eagle on Friday and although it’s unlikely that he can keep that level up over the next 36 holes, he has shown enough throughout his career to suggest he has the game to become a regular winner. We believe that will all start this weekend, mainly because he isn’t up against any serial winners as things stand.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 15, 2023
Justin Thomas – top ten finish
Justin Thomas was thrown a bone by Ryder Cup captain, Zach Johnson, last week when he was selected to be part of the USA team for the showpiece event in Rome later this month. His form this season has been horrible and in recent weeks he has looked like a broken man.
Despite all the evidence suggesting that Thomas shouldn’t be picked, Johnson went with his gut and selected the two-time major champion. That vote of confidence seems to have done JT the world of good as he is looked far more secure and like his old self this week in California.
After two rounds, he is on -8 and has an outside chance of competing for the title. Regardless of whether he ends up winning or not, the fact he has managed to put in two consecutive good rounds of tournament golf is already a step in the right direction.
On Friday, he used a longer driver and it seemed as if something clicked inside him. If he continues to use that driver in the same vein over the weekend then there is absolutely no reason why Thomas won’t finish in the top ten as an absolute minimum. On talent alone, he is heads and shoulders above the rest of the field.
🚨Justin Thomas fires -5, 67 at The Fortinet hitting 17/18 greens and sits T4. Has he found his form just in time for The Ryder Cup? 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/rkFtkQxds0
— NUCLR GOLF (@NUCLRGOLF) September 15, 2023
Max Homa to win his two-ball
While Justin Thomas is playing the Fortinet Championship to try and regain some form before the Ryder Cup, Max Homa is playing as he is the defending champion. There are no concerns with Homa’s form going into Rome but the opportunity to retain his title was something he didn’t want to pass up on.
Like Thomas, Homa is on -8 after two rounds and will feel very much alive in the tournament with 36 holes still to play. On Saturday, he has been paired with Justin Lower who is ranked 203rd in the world. The gulf in class between Homa and Lower is pretty evident and although anything can happen over 18 holes, it would be a shock if Lower outscores Homa when he’s playing directly with him.
The two-ball are set to tee off later in the day and Homa will not only be banking on beating Lower, but shooting a competitive score than get him in contention on Sunday.
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