All the big guns will be in action this weekend including Tiger Woods as the WGC Dell Match Play takes center stage on the PGA Tour. Defending champion Bubba Watson comes into this one in good form following his tied fourth placed finials at Valspar, however with such a high quality field the winner could come from anywhere. FansBet golf expert David Kristiansen returns with his betting tips for the tournament and if you are a new customer then take advantage of our Bet20 Get20 offer!
Austin Country Club
Length: 7.169 yards (Par 71)
Architect: Pete Dye
What Happened Last Week
After a brutal Sunday with the winds picking up and nobody shooting better than a 68 (-3) , Paul Casey where able to hold on and become the first to defend his title in the Valspar`s history.
The most surprising thing from yesterday was DJ`s 74 (+3) without a single birdie on the card, the first time this has happened since he gave a way a 6-shot lead in the final round of the HSBC in 2017.
When it comes to our picks it was a mixed bag with one MC (Simpson), one WD (Lee) and a T4 for Sungjae Im which gave us a full each way place and a profitable weekend. The South Korean continues his impressive first season on tour and is now the clear favourite for the Rookie of the Year award.
Valspar Round Four Highlights
The US Masters
At the time of writing, we are just 10 days away from the first tee shot being hit at Augusta. And what a championship it is gearing up to be! It seems like most of the top players are in great form for this year’s first major. So far this season, Rose, Mccilroy, Schauffele, Fowler, Mickelson, Johnson and Molinari has entered the winners circle. Add to that, a Tiger in stable – if not spectacular form. Not to mention Jordan Spieth who always shows up early April in Georgia. This year’s tournament is looking to be one for the ages.
Look at the odds board here
64 players are divided into 16 pods of 4 players playing round-robin matches. The pods are constructed from a seeding system based on the official world golf rankings.
Players will get 1 point for a win and ½ point for a halved match.
Only the 16 winners of the pods advance to a single elimination bracket which culminates on Sunday afternoon with the final, and the always anticlimactic, consolation match.
The only match play tournament on the PGA TOUR returns to Austin Country Club for the 4th straight year. This is another Pete Dye design, but unlike Sawgrass which the well renown Ohio course architect also designed, the 35-year-old Texas course really favours long hitters. This is evident when looking at driving distance rank for the three former champions; Jason Day (2016) is 10th, Dustin Johnson (2017) 6th and last years champion Bubba Watson is 26th. Aggressiveness also seems to be a good trait to possess here, although that has less to do with the course, and more to do with the match play format that rewards risk taking. So, why are the mentioned traits important around here? One reason could be that 5 of the 11 par4’s are under 400 yards, which combined with some of the holes being played severely downhill, makes them an easy target for the grip it and rip it approach. It’s also worth noting that all the par5’s are between 565-600 yards, meaning some of the shorter hitters will struggle to get on in two unless the wind is favourable.
2018 WGC Final Highlights
WGC Match Play Betting Tips
The world number 5 (can reach number 1 with a win this week) ranks out nr 1 in my model. Thomas is 1st in birdies or better gained and 10th in driving distance. The 1-time major winner also seems to have figured out the match play format, after going 1-6-0 in his first 7 matches as a professional, he turned it around in 2018 where his record reads an impressive 6-2-0 with a semi final loss at this tourney and beating Rory McIlroy in the Ryder Cup last fall as the highlights.
The reigning champion has had a good start to the season with 4 top 20 finishes in his last 6 starts. As he shoved last year he can really excel around this course and when we dig a little into his stats that is no surprise. The 2-time Masters champion ranks in the top 10 in strokes gained off the tee and the important 100-125-yard proximity range. Let’s hope that Watson can copy Casey and become the first repeat champion.
Gary ranks 7th in driving distance and 5th in strokes gained off the tee so far this season. His match play record of 8-4-1 suggest that the 34-year-old enjoys the format. As always it comes down to the putter and if he can have an ok week on the greens, we should see a deep run from the Kansas native.
Note that unlike regular stroke play event the tournament starts on Wednesday so make sure you place your bets in time.
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*odds subject to change.