Golf: Rafa to Splash to Early Lead

Weather alert!

Heavy rainfall is expected for parts of Texas today, and this is likely to change the immediate conditions for Thursday’s Houston Open.

This has got the brains trust at Lap of the Odds thinking, as there may now be an opportunity to pick the first round leader.

Bear with me. The Houston Open has been set up to emulate the conditions of Augusta next week, with length off the tee required to fire as short a club as possible into fiery greens. Relatively wet conditions will make the course play longer, but the greens will be more receptive, especially for those who tee off early before Thursday’s expected sunshine dries the course.

With that in mind, those who tee off early could well have an advantage when looking for a first round leader.

The player that springs to mind is the Spaniard Rafael Cabrera Bello. Ranked 26th in the world, Rafa is actually the 11th highest ranked player in the field this week, yet he tees off at the ridiculously early 0740 local time.

He is not the longest from the tee, but still averages over 285 yards, and is the 30th ranked putter on the PGA Tour. Rafa has made the cut on all five occasions he has teed it up this season, and has three top 25 finishes, including one top 10.

At 66/1, and with each way terms of a quarter the odds for a top five position, this looks like a sound option.

Recommendation: Rafa Cabrera Bello to lead after round one, each way at 66/1 widely available

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