Golf bets that is. The Tour starts a day early this week with their equivalent of the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament with the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club. It’s a Jack Nicklaus course that is almost 8,000 yards, the defending champion is Ian Poulter, Ogilvy won in ’09. The knock out style tournament starts Wednesday and features the World Golf Rankings top 64 players. It’s almost the identical format as the NCAA tourney, but is a lot more unpredictable. In the Men’s basketball tourney a 16 seed has never beat a 1 seed. The very opposite happened at this event in 2002 when Kevin Sutherland was a 16 seed (and the 62nd ranked in the world) won. Tiger has been eliminated by Tim Clark 6 times and three players that were ranked higher than 50th have won. I love this event, because it’s 5 days long and each new day you can bet a new match up. I’m filling out my bracket as I type, don’t bet the high seeds or obvious player, there will be plenty of us saying “Who’s that dude that just beat Phil?”. For now I am taking four players, one from each bracket to win the event and will bet match ups at the end of each day. Here is a link to the bracket if you want to play along. For now gonna roll with these guys.
Bobby Jones: Doesn’t the #12 seed always beats the #5 seed right? #5 Francesco Molinari, one half of the Molinari brothers, is matched up against #12 Ryan Moore. My gut was to take one of the Molinari brothers, because one of them is really good. I think if he can get past Moore he’ll have a good shot. Moore who idolizes Bobby Jones, I don’t think he owns a slave and is a racist, but dresses like him (he wears ties) is a nice bet too. My Guy isn’t offering odds for him, so I’m betting Francesco Molinari +4500.
Ben Hogan: This is a really good bracket with the defending champ Poulter (18-7 match play record) and Stewat Cink (21-11). I like Cink but he’s playing Poulter in round 1. Ross Fisher is a sleeper in this bracket but I’ve got field odds (+125) for him. The obvious pick, but not ‘Tiger obvious” is Graeme McDowell who worked Hunter Mahan in match play at the Ryder Cup and Tiger in a playoff at the Chevron World Challenge after being down 4 strokes on Sunday. He’s unflappable and cocky, bet McDowell at +2000, I think he is playing the best in the world.
Gary Player: I consulted with a fellow golf fan Big Killa about this one and he likes Rory Mcilroy, I would have leaned #1 Kaymer or #10 Crane, but I am going with Rory. He got some much needed experience at the Ryder Cup and will let all of the attention be on Kaymer. Bet Mcilrory +1400.
Sam Snead: Will probably be renamed one day to Tiger Woods, but for now he’s just playing in it and is ranked #1. He’s won this event 3x and the only player to win back to back years, but that was when it was played at La Costa Resort Club. He has a 32-7 career match play record, but he should be weary of Bjorn in round 1. You have to like #8 Ogilvy (18-3 career match play record) but the way the season is going I like a longer shot. The PGA events this year have been won by players on the brink of winning the previous weeks like Mark Wilson, Jhonattan Vegas, Bubba Watson and Aaron Baddeley. All were playing well and were due to win. This week it’s Billy Haas’s turn. He has 3 top 15 finishes and has shot in the 60s in 16 of the 21 rounds he’s played. The other 5 day tournament is the Bob Hope, he finished 2nd there. I need to bet at least one American, take Billy Haas +3500.
Good luck be back tommorow night with my Round 2 picks,