It is the second day of group matches at the WGC Dell Match Play on Thursday with the 64 players going out in what you could call moving day in the opening stage of the first WGC tournament of the year in Austin.
The opening day saw some pretty ordinary golf it has to be said but now that the players have had a taste of conditions and got a competitive rep inside them we’ll be expecting the quality to improve. Thursday sees the top seeds in each group playing the third highest ranked player with the other two in each section squaring off too. I like bets in two matches.
Webb Simpson vs Bubba Watson
Match tees off at 15.15 GMT
One of the earlier matches out onto the golf course on Thursday is the one featuring two former American Ryder Cup stars as Webb Simpson takes on Bubba Watson in what is a key match in an open looking Group 15.
Simpson has the advantage going into the day having seen off Brian Harman on Wednesday but the former US Open champion carded one over for the 18 holes he played against his fellow American which isn’t exactly ideal. Watson went down 3&1 to Abraham Ancer on Wednesday so he knows he has to win this match to keep his qualifying hopes alive but he should be confident of doing that. Watson actually played well on Wednesday. He went round in three under and only made two bogeys all day and some of his shots were extremely strong. He has the length advantage over Simpson on all the key holes and with Simpson having not played a huge amount of golf recently it is understandable that his touch isn’t quite there. Simpson doesn’t have a great record around here whereas Watson goes well here. I think their results of the opening day can be flipped here with Bubba coming out on top.
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Sungjae Im vs Keith Mitchell
Match tees off at 17.05 GMT
The second bet I like tees off midway through the set of matches on Thursday when the Korean ace Sungjae Im takes on the former The Honda Classic winner Keith Mitchell in a key match in Group 4 of the competition.
Im took a bit of a beating on Wednesday when Seamus Power walloped him 5&4 on what was the debut in the event for the Irishman. It was a deserved beating too with Im carding three over par with just two birdies in the 14 holes he played. That was stark contrast to Mitchell who held one of the best players in the field in Patrick Cantlay and had a chance at the last to claim what would have been a big win. Nevertheless, Mitchell has destiny in his own hands after securing that half and I expect him to take advantage here. The American has a great iron game and a really good short game and I think he can put the pressure on Im and get him to crack. Im is now 1-3 in his four matches around here while in four matches Mitchell has narrowly gone down to Tony Finau and Kevin Kisner and picked up a win over Ian Poulter and a half with Patrick Cantlay. Mitchell fired in six birdies in that tie with Cantlay and a repeat of that should get this one done.
Back B.Watson to beat W.Simpson for a 3/10 stake at 2.20 with Betfair
Back him here:
Back K.Mitchell to beat S.Im for a 3/10 stake at 2.40 with Sky Bet