We have had three winners from six selections at the WGC Dell World Match Play and so are looking to improve to a bigger than 50% strike rate on Friday.
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Current Results: 3-3
WGC Matchplay Day Three Picks
Xander Schauffele to beat Rafael Cabrero Bello @ -110
Rafael Cabrero Bello hasn’t gotten to grips with the 2019 World Match Play at all, with a 4&3 loss to Tyrrell Hatton followed by a halved match with Lee Westwood, which the Englishman should have won. The Spaniard seems to be struggling with the front nine and was 3 down to Hatton after five holes and 3 down to Westwood at the turn on Day Two. Schauffele, who can guarantee qualification with a win today, will come out firing and if Cabrero Bello is down early again then his head will drop. He not only needs to win, but may need a play-off to qualify and that mountain could be too big to climb for a player low on confidence.
Kevin Kisner to beat Keith Mitchell @ -110
Kevin Kisner was four under par for his round on Day One but lost to Ian Poulter and then showed tremendous fight to come from 3 down to beat Tony Finau 2up on Day Two. The South Carolina native has been one of the best players in Texas this week and if he can continue his form of the opening two days into Friday then he’ll beat Keith Mitchell and qualify for the Final 16. Mitchell can also qualify with a win, but the 27-year-old hasn’t been anywhere near as impressive as his fellow University of Georgia alumnus. He was well beaten by Finau and then only shot par when winning 1up against Poulter. In a straight shoot-out, Kisner should win.
Tyrrell Hatton to beat Lee Westwood @ +100
Lee Westwood was 4up on Rafael Cabrero Bello after 11 holes on Thursday and played the next five so poorly that he needed to birdie the 18th just to claim a half point. It’s tough to see how the veteran Englishman recovers from that, especially now that he needs to win just to draw level on points with Hatton and Xander Schauffele in Group 9. The likelihood is that a dejected Westwood won’t have the fight in the all-English clash and instead the 49-year-old will be making an early exit from the WGC Dell World Match Play. Hatton has played well enough when beating Carbero Bello 4&3 and halving with Schauffele to suggest that he should be favorite regardless of the circumstances, but those circumstances change him from favorite to lock.
Previous WGC Matchplay Selections
Francesco Molinari to beat Thorbjorn Olesen @ -120 – WIN
Francesco Molinari provided a win for us on Day One and we’re sticking with the in-form Italian at larger odds on Day Two. Molinari will be fairly fresh after an easy 5&4 victory over Satoshi Kodaira and his confidence will be sky high as he walks onto the tee in Texas on Thursday. He’s a level above Thorbjorn Olesen in terms of consistency and, although the Dane won his match with Webb Simpson, he didn’t do so until the final holes. Molinari birdied three of the opening four yesterday and Olesen could only go level par for that stretch. Another fast start and the Italian may be out of sight and the pair may not even reach the last few, where Olesen shone against Simpson. Surprisingly, having been just -200 yesterday, Molinari is -120 today, which makes him a must bet.
Kevin Na to beat Jordan Spieth @ +150 – LOSS
Jordan Spieth prevented our clean sweep on Day One in Texas but it wasn’t exactly a convincing performance from the home favorite. Spieth struggled and actually shot a +1 for the day on Thursday, only claiming a draw with Billy Horschel after a mini-implosion from his opponent in the final three holes. Horschel was 2 up with 3 to play but bogeys at 16 and 18 saw him lose his grip on the match. He’ll be dejected about that and it’s tough to bet on him in his match against Bubba Watson, but it is easy to continue betting against Spieth when he plays the man who beat Bubba, Kevin Na. Na’s accurate irons saw him birdie five holes on Wednesday and a round of four under par was way better golf than Spieth produced. If the pair play as they did on Day One on Thursday then Na will get the win.
Paul Casey to beat Charles Howell III @ -120 – LOSS
A slow start saw Paul Casey fall behind to Abraham Ancer on Wednesday and the recent Valspar Championship winner looked to have arrived with a bit of a hangover from Sunday’s exploits. However, Casey rolled up his sleeves and rattled off four birdies and five pars in the next nine holes to finish at five under after 15 and win the tie 5&3. Ancer never really stood a chance against the Englishman, who didn’t card a bogey on Wednesday and arguably played the best golf of anyone on the course. Casey is a duel runner-up at the WGC Matchplay and he may be an outside shot at winning the title after arriving in the form of his life. He’ll be too good for Charles Howell III on Thursday, with the Georgia native not doing much more than parring to win his opening match with Cameron Smith. Howell bogeyed three holes, including the first two par fives, on Wednesday and if he does that on Day Two he’ll find himself in bad shape against Casey.
Tommy Fleetwood to beat Byeong Hun An – WIN
Tommy Fleetwood had a breakout year in 2017, winning the European Tour’s Race to Dubai before following up with a hugely successful 2018 both in Europe and in the US. The Englishman finished 2nd in the US Open, shooting a final round 63. He also finished Top 20 or better in 3 of the 4 Majors and all four of the WGC events. Fleetwood’s performance at the Ryder Cup was the icing on the cake, with the debutant winning 4 out of his 5 matches and helping Europe lift the trophy. He showed in Paris that he is a really strong matchplay golfer and big things are expected of him this week in Texas. He should begin with a win against Byeong Hun An on Wednesday.
Francesco Molinari to beat Satoshi Kodaira – WIN
If Fleetwood is a likely winner on Wednesday, then Molinari is the lock. The Italian went one better than his Ryder Cup playing partner by winning 5 out of 5 matches in Paris and then won The Open Championship. He is arguably Europe’s best golfer at the moment after another win in the Arnold Palmer Invitational recently. The Italian should be a comfortable winner over the inexperienced Satoshi Kodaira on Day One in Texas.
Billy Horschel to beat Jordan Spieth – LOSE
The final selection on Day One is an underdog pick, but the poor recent form of Jordan Spieth means that Billy Horschel cannot be ignored at +125. Horschel hasn’t set the world alight in 2019 but he has played solid, consistent golf and hasn’t finished outside of the top 50 anywhere this season. Spieth, meanwhile, has only finished inside the top 50 twice, hasn’t been higher than 35th and missed two cuts, including the recent Players Championship. The triple major winner’s putter appears to have given up on him at the moment and it may take him until a trip to the familiar surrounds of Augusta National before he regains his confidence on the greens. Horschel probably only needs to play a par round on Wednesday to take an early point in a tough group.