Monday, 18 February 2013

World Golf Championship-Accenture Matchplay 2013

Following an exciting weekend in both East London, South Africa and California, (where the blogs selections were right in the thick of things on the back 9 Sunday) the action centres on just one event this week - the 2013 Accenture Matchplay. Dove Mountain GC, a Jack Nicklaus designed resort hosts the matchplay yet again. Over 18 holes, picking the winner won't be easy and its an event I sometimes debate whether getting involved in or not. My approach is to look at each of the four sections or brackets as its like to be called, aptly named the Ben Hogan,Bobby Jones,Sam Snead & Gary Player brackets, and determine who is likely to go well and progress out of them. As an Irishman, I'm delighted to see two compatriots playing but come end of Wednesday, only two of them will be left standing as old Walker Cup team mates and friends, Rory McIlroy & Shane Lowry square off in Match No 29 whilst Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington face each other an hour earlier in Match No22.
My strategy is to try to decide who will win their first round match and therefore take momentum into the next rounds.Some will say its a bit of a lottery but to some extent it could be but the results would indicate otherwise, the last few years! A lot of these golfers excel on confidence, and some of these will have vast matchplay experience. For example most of the European players here this week will bring a lot of winning Ryder Cup experience. Two of those winning Europeans feature in my outright shortlist, namely Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia. The former won here in 2010, loves the one on one and will only be focussed on beating his opponent no matter how well/bad he plays. I'm a liitle surprised he is available at 25/1 and should he get his challenge off to the perfect start against Stephen Gallacher which I fully expect him to, he will see this as great opporunity to add yet another WGC title. El Nino plays Jaidee in his first rd match and meets most likely Matt Kuchar in the next, and I think he can win both of these also following decent form lately. He loves the matchplay format and he may see this week as a chance to kick start his season as he pursues big titles. 33/1 in general for Sergio Garcia too. In the same bracket as Garcia, (Ben Hogan), I have a feeling that Ernie Els will demonstrate that old Wentworth matchplay experience and spring a surprise. He plays the really in-form, and last minute entry, Freddie Jacobsen, who came so close to making the playoff in Riviera on Sunday. The Swede's form will not faze the South African and if "The Big Easy" triumphs over him he has that confidence to take on his man in the next round which could be Keegan Bradley which will be tough. Ernie is value for me at 90/1.

In the Bobby Jones bracket, I really do think Rory will prevail despite the new clubs not suiting last time we saw him in Abu Dhabi. 14/1 might seem a bit short but he will be a lot less if he makes it through to Friday!.4/1 about winning the bracket is way short. If he wins the group, despite the theory that the matches get harder, he is almost there and the outright is the preferred way to go. I also fancy Schwartzel this week at 20/1 and should see off Russell Henley in the first round. His form at the moment is awesome (top 3 finish in each of his last 5 starts including 2 wins!). Harrington will find it tough against Gmac on Wednesday but this could be a great match, and the conqueror could go far....I'm siding with the Dubliner and the 80/1 outright is taken.

The Gary Playr bracket sees Tiger as favourite and I think he can win this...he will be out to win it anyway and finally break the non-American winner trend of recent years. 12/1 is a good price, where the bracket price of 7/2 again represents no value. In fact, betting on Tiger to win each match and rolling the winnings over might be a better way to go. I like Martin Kaymer's chances this week. He was beaten by Luke Donald in the final two years ago and is over-priced at 40/1 this week I reckon.(10/1 for the bracket). This course suits his game and if he is putting near his best he can beat anyone....this is the week I expect a big showing.

So in conclusion, the shortlist mentioned above involves just one American......that was not intentional when sitting down to study the match-ups!. But the recent results in this event backs up the notion that the Europeans fare better and with that I'll play it that way too. I'll leave Rory & Tiger out of it and perhaps look at them in-running.

If you are not following me on twitter (@birdieclubtips), it may pay to this week as I may also put up some double and treble match bets each day over the 5 days. Remember also, that this event starts on Wednesday.

Selections:

Outright: 10 pts total

1 pt e/w C.Schwartzel @ 20/1 (1-4)
1 pt e/w S.Garcia @ 33/1 (1-4)
1 pt e/w Martin Kaymer @ 40/1 (1-4)
1 pt e/w Ian Poulter @ 25/1 (1-4)
0.5 pts e/w P.Harrington @ 80/1 (1-4)
0.5 pts e/w E.Els @ 90/1 (1-4)