The Florida swing has finally concluded with the finish of the weak fielded Honda Classic. Most of the top golfers took the week off to prepare for the this upcoming weekend’s WGC Match Play tournament. This tournament is unlike any other golf tournament on the Tour and in my opinion, is my favorite format of golf. The top 64 golfers in the world will compete in a march madness style bracket tournament to determine this seasons World Golf Classic Match play champion. The match play tournament will be played at Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas and is a par 71, 7,100 yard Pete Dye designed course. This tournament is hard to pick certain stats that are going to play up because scoring well does not typically win in match plays since large numbers don’t affect your round. We are only going to mention a few stats this week and really just look for guys in good form and favorable match-ups within their side of the bracket.
Rough week last weekend at the Honda Classic as we drew a full card of blanks, but we still ride on. The bad weeks will come as you can see, but the good weeks make up for the bad ones and being up 40+ units we are playing with house money the next few weeks. LETS ROLL!
2021 Golf Schedule: (+44.15U)
- Sentry Tournament of Champions (+3.5U)
- Sony Open (-8U)
- American Express Open (-3.4U)
- Farmers Insurance Open (-8.5U)
- Waste Management Phoenix Open (-9.5U)
- AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (+23U)
- Genesis Invitational (+0.55U)
- WGC Workday Championship (+38.75U)
- Arnold Palmer Invitational (-8.5U)
- Players Championship (+29.75U)
- Honda Classic (-13.5U)
I am going to be picking one golfer to come out of each region to avoid any early on overlapping.
- Jon Rahm +1300 (2.5U to win 32.5U)
Rahm is in unreal form right now making all 10 of his cuts this season while adding in 6 Top 10’s and 2 Top 5’s. Rahm has always fared well on Pete Dye Courses and even added a T10 at Pete Dye’s masterpiece in TPC Sawgrass just two weeks back. Rahm’s ball striking is on another level right now seeing himself rank 3rd in off the tee strokes gained and 12th in approach strokes gained locking him into a #2 overall ranking in strokes gained tee to green on the tour. Rahm is an experienced vet who often shines in the big moments and I feel like he is going to excel very well in this format. With that being said, Rahm also has in my opinion the easiest path to the finals and will be a tough out the entire way.
Path to the Final Four:
Group Stage: Sebastian Munoz, Ryan Palmer, and Shane Lowry
Sweet Sixteen: Winner out of Daniel Berger, Erik Van Rooyen, Harris English, or Brendon Todd
Scariest Potential Elite Eight Opponents: Rory Mcilroy, Cameron Smith, Xander Schauffele, Jason Day, or Scottie Scheffler
2. Patrick Reed +2400 (1.5U to win 36U)
Another guy in great form right now, Reed lives for this type of format. Golf’s “Heel”, Reed is the ultimate competitor and with the way he is putting right now, I would be terrified to draw him in this bracket. Ranking #2 in birdie average and #1 in putting strokes gained on the tour, Reed is going to be one of the toughest outs in this tournament. Though his “region” is probably the toughest in this bracket, I like his chances to be the one to come out of it.
Path to the Final Four:
Group Stage: Bubba Watson, Joaquin Niemann, and Christian Bezuidenhout
Sweet Sixteen: Winner of Patrick Cantlay, Brian Harman, Hideki Matsuyama, or Carlos Ortiz
Scariest Potential Elite Eight Opponents: Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Matthew Fitzpatrick, or Corey Conners
3. Viktor Hovland +2400 (1.5U to win 36U)
Another guy who has a pretty tough path to the finals, but I really trust Hovland in this type of format. Hovland is in amazing form right now coming into this weekend ranked 4th in the Fed Ex Cup standings making 10 of 11 cuts with a win, and 3 additional top 5 finishes. Like Rahm, Hovland excels in his off the tee strokes gained (ranked 5th) and approach strokes gained (ranked 38th) seeing himself rank 11th in total strokes gained tee to green. Coming into this week ranked inside the top 10 in scoring and birdie average, Hovland is going to be a tough out mainly because of his boldness and aggressive nature which I believe will thrive in a H2H type format.
Path to the Final Four:
Group Stage: Kevin Streelman, Abraham Ancer, and Bernd Wiesberger
Sweet Sixteen: Winner of Collin Morikawa, J.T Poston, Billy Horschel, or Max Homa
Scariest Potential Elite Eight Opponents: Bryson Dechambeau or Tony Finau
4. Webb Simpson +2900 (1.5U to win 43.5U)
This one may not be as chalky as the others but it is a play I am fairly confident in. Simpson’s form is fairly good right now making 9 of 10 cuts with 4 top 10’s and 7 top 25’s so far this season. Simpson is as consistent as they come and I believe he will be a very tough out in this tournament. Simpson ranks 4th in driving accuracy, 7th in scoring average, 21st in GIR % and 25th in birdie average which leads me to believe that in a H2H format you are going to actually have to beat him instead of him beating himself.
Path to the Final Four:
Group Stage: Talor Gooch, Paul Casey, and Mackenzie Hughes
Sweet Sixteen: Winner of Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Wallace, Lee Westwood, or Sergio Garcia
Scariest Potential Elite Eight Opponents: Dustin Johnson or Sungjae Im
Group Winner’s and 1st Round H2H match-ups
- Bryson Dechambeau Group H winner +105 (4U to win 4.2U)
Bryson drew the easiest group in my opinion and the fact that he is plus money is pretty shocking. All he has to do is to get through a guy named Antoine Rozner (who actually is having a solid season on the European Tour), Si Woo Kim, and Tommy Fleetwood who are both in pretty bad form right now. I love Bryson’s chance to reign victorious in this group and would almost call it my lock of the week.
2. Tony Finau Group D winner +160 (2U to win 3.2U)
Another guy who I believe drew a very easy group, Finau is the odds on favorite to come out of this victorious. Finau drew the last player in the field and highest ranked 64 seed Dylan Frittelli and will have to get through Jason Kokrak and Will Zalatoris to win his group. Listen, I really like Zalatoris and Kokrak but I just think Finau is in slightly better form right now and will be hungry in search of his first win in 5 years.
3. Cameron Smith Group C winner +210 (2U to win 4.2U)
Cameron Smith comes into this week probably in one of the best forms on the entire tour right now and actually drew a fairly easily group. Smith should have no problem taking out Lanto Griffin in the first round and would have to get through Rory and Ian Poulter. Rory seems a little lost right now and even if he gets past an also reeling Poulter, he draws a nightmare matchup in the consistent Cameron Smith. Really like the value here for the young Aussie.
First Round H2H Matchup’s
- Corey Conners > Matthew Wolff -160 (3.2U to win 2U)
This one hurts me to write but something is off with Wolff who is making his first appearance in over a month due to undisclosed reasons. Even before taking a month off from the game Wolff was in unbearably watchable form. I still think he rebounds at some point this season because he is too talented, but he just got a brutal draw in the form of a red hot Corey Conners. Lay the juice and don’t look back.
2. Jason Day > Scottie Scheffler +100 (2U to win 2U)
This one is an even as it comes as you can tell by the odds. Both in similar form right now, I am going to go with the veteran Day who is a Pete Dye designed course specialist to squeak out a close victory.