ATTENTION, READERS in the 28 EUROPEAN VAT COUNTRIES: Because of the new VAT law, you probably can't order books direct from my site now. But that's okay -- just go to my Smashwords author page.
You can order PDFs (as well as all the other ebook formats) from there.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

My "4 to Watch" at the WGC-Dell Match Play

For those of you not familiar with this, I typically do a "5 to Watch" post for big PGA Tour events during the year, where I pick five players I think will do really well and -- if I'm particularly psychic that week -- one of which will win. I forgot to do one for the WGC-Cadillac, which is probably a good thing because my picks wouldn't have been anywhere close to decent.

The Walter Hagen Cup

But for the Match Play I generally just pick a "Final Four," the players I expect to come out of the four main groups in the bracket. I used to pick the whole bracket but it's too frustrating to have your bracket busted in the first round. (And no, I don't do March Madness brackets either. College basketball is always too unpredictable for my tastes.) Then, if I'm lucky enough for one of them to make it through, that player becomes my choice to win the whole thing.

Since this year we don't have official names for those four main groups, I'll just call them by the #1 seed in each group. As for my criteria for picking winners, since Austin Country Club is a completely new venue, I'm basing my picks on one thing -- I'm under the impression that this course is set up to play somewhat like Augusta National but with tighter fairways.
  • In the Jordan Spieth bracket, which I think is probably the toughest overall, I debated over a number of great players like Phil Mickelson, Jamie Donaldson, Andy Sullivan, Patrick Reed... you get the picture. But I finally settled on Louis Oosthuizen, who I think has been playing really well for over a year now but is only recently seeing the results. If you think he's an upset pick, that's fine with me since this is match play and we see upsets a lot.
  • In the Jason Day bracket I really wanted to pick Danny Willett, and I still think he may be the one who comes out of this bracket. But I'm going chalk and taking Jason Day, simply because he proved last week (to me, anyway) that he can win without his best stuff. And if this course really does play fast like Augusta, where he has a great record, and if it's tight like Whistling Straits was... well, you can see how I settled on Jason.
  • In the Rory McIlroy bracket, I'm torn between Zach Johnson and Branden Grace because I think this course actually gives both of them an advantage over the field, as it appears the course will play under 7200 yards. But I'm going with Zach Johnson because he plays well at Augusta and he's also extremely accurate, which should work well on this tight track.
  • And in the Bubba Watson bracket, I think it will come down to Lee Westwood or Sergio Garcia, since both are in the same pool and at least one will be knocked out by Friday evening. I'm taking a bit of a flier here and going for Lee Westwood, although he hasn't been playing as well lately. These two play each other in the very first match, so we should get some idea how they're going to do pretty quickly. (I'm aware that neither has a particularly good record in this event, but since this is a new venue...)
So there you have my admittedly unscientific picks -- Louis Oosthuizen, Jason Day, Zach Johnson and Lee Westwood. The WGC-Dell Match Play gets underway on GC at 11am ET TODAY, so don't forget to tune in!

No comments:

Post a Comment