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.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Final Four for the Match Play

When they determined who would be in each of the 16 groups Monday on GC's selection show, I must admit to a moment of panic.

In the past, my routine was to look at the four brackets -- typically named for famous players of the past -- and pick one winner from each, then let the one who made it through be my overall pick to win. (At that point I would pick one if more than one made it through, but that's never happened.) Faced with 16 different groups, I was momentarily paralyzed by the number of decisions I would have to make for this post.

That is, until I realized we still have only four brackets. They're just named for the Top4 players in the OWGR, because each of those players was placed in a different bracket. (You can download a PDF of the brackets from this link at Just look for the words "Printable Bracket" and click them.)

The only real difference this year is that players will now have to play 7 matches in 5 days instead of the 6 in 5 they did last year. And while the first 3 matches will be pool play, the only way to be sure you make it through is still to win all of your matches. (If you win only 2 in pool play, the best you can hope for is sudden death with only one other player. And do you really want to play for 3 days, only to have your fate potentially determined by a single hole? I think not.)

So here are my Final Four from the new brackets. As usual, the fact that I didn't pick somebody is no reflection on their ability to win this thing; I'm simply limited to picking 4 players.

In the McIlroy bracket, I'm going against logic and picking Paul Casey. Casey is finally healthy this year and has been focusing his attention on the PGA Tour, so he hasn't been traveling quite as much. Given that Casey has had a pretty decent match play record in the past -- besides his amateur and Ryder Cup records, he also won the Volvo Match Play (then the HSBC) back in 2006 -- I think he could do well this year.

In the Spieth bracket, I'm going chalk and taking Jordan Spieth. I don't think Jordan will win overall, but I do think he's likely to come out of his bracket. (Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if Mikko Ilonen came out of the bracket, but I believe the 15-hour jetlag he's fighting will derail his chances.)

In the Stenson bracket, I simply can't talk myself out of picking Justin Rose. Although I'm concerned about fatigue -- 30 holes of golf Sunday, then all this golf starting Wednesday -- I simply can't ignore how well he's playing. In fact, I believe he'll get through simply because he won't play as many holes in each match as his opponents do.

And from the Watson bracket, I'm taking Graeme McDowell. Despite a relatively poor 2015 thus far, his match play record is too good for me not to pick him. I think a good match play tournament may be exactly what he needs to get his year kickstarted.

Last year I had my best result ever, as Victor Dubuisson was the only one of my four picks to make it through and he came in runner-up. Let's see if I do better this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment