The WGC-Dell Match-play returns to Austin Country Club for the second year in a row and there is a stellar field taking part.
I hate betting on match-play tournaments as in most cases it’s a lucky dip. However, I’ll select a few sections and hopefully pick some winners from that.
In Group 6 there is Justin Thomas, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Kevin Na and Chris Wood. The way he is playing at the moment Fitzpatrick looks good. This could be a great year for the Englishman and I expect him to progress into the final 16.
Group 7 has the battle of the Spaniards with Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm due to meet. They are joined by Kevin Chappell and Irishman Shane Lowry. This section could be a close thing but I think the match between the Spaniards will ultimately decide who goes through. Who do I fancy … hang on while I toss a coin. Rahm.
In Group 8 you have three Europeans and one Asian and it looks a really tough section. Alex Noren, Francesco Molinari and Bernd Wiesberger represent Europe with Thongchai Jaidee Asia. Normally I would be considering Noren as I think he is a superb player but Molinari has been playing more on the PGA Tour this year and has been playing well. I think he will go far this week.
Group 11 has Masters champion Danny Willett hoping to find some form going into this year’s Augusta defence. He takes on Scot Russell Knox, Bill Haas and KT Kim. Think there could be a small upset here with Haas coming through. He has been a standout in the last three Presidents Cup so has plenty of experience in match-play and worth a punt.
Group 6: M Fitzpatrick (Betfred, 3-1 to win section)
Group 7: Jon Rahm (Ladbrokes, 2-1 to win section)
Group 8: Francesco Molinari (Coral, 9-4 to win section)
Group 11: Bill Haas (bet365 9-4, to win section)
After the group section two of my tips are through. Jon Rahm was superb, winning his three matches, while it took Bill Haas six extra holes to overcome Korean KT Kim. Now it’s knockout time and I have taken Rahm (b13-2) and Brooks Koepka ( 14-1) as my picks to win outright.
And after the quarters Rahm will face Haas in one semi-final while the other features world No.1 Dustin Johnson against surprise guy Hideto Tanihara.