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Scottie Scheffler is the outright pick at +2200 with Caesars Sportsbook
Corey Conners each way at +6000 with bet365
Richard Bland to beat Bryson DeChambeau at +165 with FanDuel
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As ever, this is an unusual week for the world’s elite golfers.
It is also now just one of just two WGC events on the calendar.
But far more peculiar is that the format is match play which is now so rare a sight in top-level golf. In fact, it is the only individual match play tournament on the schedule.
It’s a factor that cannot be underestimated.
On the one hand, it is a very volatile form of the game, with the matches decided by the number of holes won, not the number of strokes taken for the entire round.
Indeed, Tiger Woods was famous for not liking this way of playing. He felt that it evened up the game for lesser players.
On the other hand, some golfers appreciate that different dynamic, feeling that every bad shot can be quickly put behind them.
Ian Poulter would be a prime example of the latter and, indeed, he won the event in 2010.
Others have performed well in match play without ever quite falling for it. Double tournament winner Geoff Ogilvy even called it “weird”.
The host course is a Pete Dye design and it has proved to be popular with Americans who have won four of five renewals, including each of the last four.
Players with a strong pedigree in Texas have won there: all five had a top three in the Lone Star State, three of them had won there.
It is an undulating course that is mostly tree-lined but has an exposed stretch midway through the back nine.
The grass on the fairways and greens is Bermuda and players who have a fondness for that combination excel.
In 2018 Kevin Kisner finished second in this event and a year later he claimed the win.
Can Scottie Scheffler repeat that feat?
A year ago he was superb in making the final, enjoying playing on home turf and being watched by friends and family both on the fairways and also from boats out on the river.
Since then he has become a two-time winner on the PGA Tour.
He reiterated that he is good in Texas by nearly winning the Houston Open and his form looks a neat fit for this week.
Three of the five winners here had already won in the year and all were playing excellent from tee to green.
Scheffler is doing just that and, throw in some great putting, a new facet to his game, and he looks set for more glory.
Last year he recalled how he had attended the event as a fan in the past. “I was out here with my buddies and wife and just kind of having a good time walking around seeing shots, kind of messing around,” he said.
Of his final appearance, he said: “One of my biggest takeaways is most of the week I performed when I needed to.”
And the secret of his success in the format? “You just got to beat the guy that’s in front of you,” he said with a laugh. “And I also really, really hate losing.”
Take him each way in the outright at +2000 with Caesars Sportsbook, a good price that pays out with a semi-final appearance.
Canada’s Corey Conners had a chastening debut in this event 12 months ago, never making it out of the group stage.
But he shouldn’t be written off.
For one thing, he has shown in the last year that he has a flair for elite-level golf.
He finished top 10 in last year’s PLAYERS Championship, top 20 in three of the four majors, top 15 in the Olympics, and made the TOUR Championship.
He’s a winner in the state – in the 2019 Texas Open – and he hits greens in regulation for fun (he ranked first at the Arnold Palmer Invitational).
Add him each way, again paying out with a last-four appearance with bet365 offering +6000.
Perhaps the most awaited single match of the week is on Wednesday in Group 9 when Bryson DeChambeau takes on Richard Bland.
This really is a clash of just about everything.
American versus England.
Brash versus timid.
Big-hitting versus straight-hitting.
Youngster versus veteran.
New ideas versus old virtues.
Science versus craft.
DeChambeau, of course, is one of the biggest noises in golf, but he hasn’t played since withdrawing with a mysterious injury in Saudi Arabia in January, a week after Bland very nearly won the Dubai Desert Classic.
The entire golfing world will be watching this match and upsets happen in this tournament. Tiger Woods, no less, lost three times to unheralded Australians.
He might be Bland by name, but the headlines won’t be bland if the Englishman wins. He’s got a great chance and is top price +165 with FanDuel.
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|Dell Technologies Match Play Information|
|Tournament||The World Golf Championship – Dell Technologies Match Play|
|Location||Austin Country Club, Texas|
|Time||Wednesday, March 23 – Sunday, March 27|
|How to watch||Wednesday 12-6pm ET (Golf Channel), Thursday & Friday 2-8pm ET (Golf Channel), Saturday & Sunday 10am-2pm ET (Golf Channel) and 2-7pm (NBC). And all four days on Sky Sports.|
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Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.
Email: [email protected]More info on Dave Tindall
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