Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Fantasy Golf: The WGC Dell Match Play Preview

I have to admit I was caught off guard by the short week as in I just looked at the schedule and said "holy shit it's a short week." So now I find myself in a condo somewhere in Florida trying to crank-out this preview as my mother in-law blares the soundtrack from "Cats." (I did not and could not make that up). The good news is that it's the match play so there is only so much you can predict, especially with it being played at a new venue this year (oh my God now she's whistling along with the tune).  

The simple rule for picking a match play winner is, when in doubt, pick a European. There's a reason they've been kicking our ass in the Ryder Cup. They thrive on the individual match-ups and generally seem to make more clutch putts than their American counterparts in this format. That leads us to favor guys like Paul Casey, Danny Willett, Martin Kaymer and matchplay savant Victor Dubuisson. (I just switched rooms, put on headphones and still can't drown it out).

If you feel the need to play a favorite this week, Jason Day would be the obvious choice because no one is better at maintaining momentum. As for the Americans, Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed eat this stuff up but nothing would make for a more entertaining week than Phil Mickelson advancing, however, he's a huge risk reward pick because he could just as easily check-out and go 0-3 in the Group Stage. 

I'm currently going with Casey but his group is brutal with Day and Graeme McDowell. Mickelson would have to survive Reed and Matthew Fitzpatrick which is a tall order. Based on the group stage match-ups, Willett or Branden Grace* would be the best plays. Sorry for the short shrift but my ears are now bleeding and I need to go drown myself in Heineken and the Gulf of Mexico.     

The Dell Match Play Odds

1. Rory McIlroy - 9/1
"Wouuld you prefer I sing some Phantom
of the Opera
for you?" NOOOOOOO!!!
2. Jason Day - 11/1
3. Rickie Fowler - 12/1
4. Jordan Spieth - 12/1
5. Adam Scott - 14/1
6. Bubba Watson - 16/1
7. Justin Rose  - 20/1
8. Dustin Johnson - 22/1
9. Paul Casey - 28/1
10. Charl Schwartzel - 28/1

Ten Guys We Like

Jason Day - 11/1
Rickie Fowler - 12/1
Paul Casey - 28/1
Danny Willett - 33/1
Patrick Reed - 33/1
Branden Grace - 40/1
Andy Sullivan - 66/1
Bill Haas - 70/1
Martin Kaymer - 80/1
Victor Dubuisson - 125/1

The One and Done Pick: Paul Casey

The Sleeper Pick: Victor Dubuisson

Footnote

* UPDATE: I've already bailed on Casey due to his potentially brutal path and switched to Grace. Stay tuned throughout the night for continued coverage.