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The LIV Golf Invitational London at Centurion Golf Club is off to an exhilarating start, with Australian Cameron Smith leading the way at 8-under par after an opening round 63. Trailing him in second and third place is fellow countryman Marc Leishman (7-under) and Belgian Thomas Pieters (5-under).
Smith is looking to join Talor Gooch for the most wins on LIV (three), while Leishman and Pieters are trying to capture the individual title for the first time.
Four of the five English players are also under par within striking distance in their home country. With 36 holes left to play, we’ll provide one betting tip for the second round.
LIV London Day 2 Prediction: Top Golfer by Category
The following tip is for the remaining two days.
Joaquin Niemann to finish as the Top South American @ 5/8 (-160)
There’s still a lot of golf left to play, but Bet365 is giving Niemann favorable odds as he sits at 2-under in a tie for 11th. His competition to finish as the top South American is against fellow Chilean Mito Pereira, two strokes back at even (T26), and Colombian Sebastian Munoz (four strokes back), who finished day one at two-over (T38).
The former No. 1 ranked amateur, Niemann, suffered a slow start to the season with three finishes of T30 or worse in the first four LIV events. He’s turned things around since late April and recorded three top-10 finishes over his last four tournaments. Niemann also played well at last month’s U.S. Open, where he finished in a tie for 32nd out of 156 golfers.
Low final rounds have earned him most of his high finishes, while poor first rounds have hurt his chances of contending. With his solid start this week, he’ll be eager to try and record his first victory or at least secure his first top-five of the campaign.
The talent is there. It just needs to be unlocked again. Last season, Niemann earned three top-four finishes, including a playoff loss to Dustin Johnson at LIV Boston. The Santiago, Chile native also won the 2022 Genesis Invitational on the PGA Tour in a crowded field.
Pereira has contended more often than Munoz, but both have had chances to win this season. Despite that, I’m willing to roll the dice on Niemann, given his two-stroke lead and history of playing well on difficult courses and in challenging conditions, both of which are presented at Centurion Golf Club.
I’d usually provide a matchup tip, but nothing stuck out to me, and the books weren’t providing valuable enough odds. Below are Niemann’s 2023 results (including majors) and his 2022 LIV tournament log.
2/24 – 2/26
El Camaleón Golf Course at Mayakoba
3/17 – 3/19
The Gallery Golf Club
3/31 – 4/2
Orange County National
4/21 – 4/23
The Grange Golf Club
4/28 – 4/30
Sentosa Golf Club (Serapong Course)
5/12 – 5/14
Cedar Ridge Country Club
5/26 – 5/28
Trump National Golf Club
6/30 – 7/2
Real Club Valderrama
7/7 – 7/9
9/2 – 9/4
The International (Oaks Course)
9/16 – 9/18
Rich Harvest Farms
10/7 – 10/9
Stonehill Golf Club
10/14 – 10/16
Royal Greens G&CC
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