- The Round of 16 is set at the WGC-Dell Match Play
- Four of the top-10 players in the world are still alive as the tournament moves to single elimination
- Who are the best bets to advance to the quarterfinals, and who is the best bet to win it all?
The PGA Tour’s lone match play event of the season has reached the knockout stage, and while perennial favorites Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas failed to advance, four of the top 10 players in the world are still in the hunt for the $1.7 million first prize.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 30, 2019
The remaining field is headlined by Rory McIlroy, who will face Tiger Woods in the most anticipated match in the Round of 16.
Updated 2019 WGC Match Play Futures Odds
|Golfer||Odds at Book 1||Odds at Book 2|
*Odds taken March 28 at 9pm EST
The Top of the Board
It’s no surprise that McIlroy, the hottest player on the planet, is the favorite as the tournament moves into the knockout stage.
The 2015 champion has six straight top-6 finishes to start the year, and leads the tour in strokes gained off the tee and strokes gained tee-to-green.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 29, 2019
He breezed through the round robin, needing 16 holes or less to dispatch each opponent, and if he gets past Tiger in the round of 16, he’ll be looking at a very favorable road to the finals.
The only reason to pause before pulling the trigger on Rory is his short price. His +450 odds don’t return enough value for the risk associated with betting a golfer in a single elimination format.
I’d much rather seek out a player with longer odds, knowing that anyone remaining in this field is capable of beating anyone else on any given day.
Justin Rose is Undervalued
McIlroy isn’t the only elite player left with a favorable draw. World number two Justin Rose will kick off the knockout stage against the lowest seed remaining in the field, 60th ranked Kevin Na.
If Rose can dispatch the American, he’ll face a challenging test against the winner of the Paul Casey/Francesco Molinari match, but aside from those two, there isn’t another top-17 ranked player left in his half of the draw.
After 14 holes: 3 down.
After 18 holes: All-square.
Justin Rose never gives up! pic.twitter.com/GV6M4EwxKa
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) March 28, 2019
He’s in excellent form, with a win and an eighth place finish in two of his last three starts, and his +1000 odds are a steal given his pedigree.
WGC Match Play Round of 16 Odds
|Louis Oosthuizen||-135||Marc Leishman||+105|
|Kevin Kisner||-150||Haotong Li||+115|
|Francesco Molinari||-115||Paul Casey||-115|
|Henrik Stenson||-165||Lucas Bjerregaard||+125|
|Rory McIlroy||-175||Tiger Woods||+135|
|Matt Kuchar||-140||Tyrell Hatton||+110|
|Sergio Garcia||-140||Branden Grace||+110|
|Kevin Na||N/A||Justin Rose||N/A|
Round of 16 Best Bets
- Matt Kuchar over Tyrell Hatton (-140): There isn’t a more consistent player on tour than Kuchar. The 40-year-old went undefeated in the round robin, highlighted by an epic back nine against Jon Rahm in Round 3. No one grinds harder to save par than Kuch, while Hatton can go off the rails at any given moment. He missed the cut in his previous two starts and has gained strokes on approach just twice in his last seven outings on Tour.
- Henrik Stenson over Lucas Bjerregaard (-165): Outside of McIlroy, the most dominant player in the round robin may have been Henrik Stenson. The Swede won all three of his matches, needing just 15 holes to close out Jason Day, and only 14 holes to defeat Jim Furyk. He racked up eight birdies against Furyk in Round 3, and prior to the event, had gained 16 and a half strokes on approach over his previous three tournaments. His opponent Lucas Bjerregaard is an all or nothing type player, capable of scoring in bunches, but also prone to making mistakes. Coming into this event, he ranked 47th out 64 golfers in bogey avoidance in his last 50 rounds, and that kind of sloppy play is not the recipe for match play success.
- Marc Leishman over Louis Oosthuizen (+105): Leishman is off to one of the better starts on Tour this season, racking up four top-10 finishes in nine starts, including a win at the CIMB Classic. He won all three of his round robin matches, while Oosthuizen barely snuck out of his group. Oostie has been doing most of his damage around the green lately, while losing strokes on approach in each of his last three events. I’m willing to bet he can’t continue to get up and down from every conceivable lie like he has been, and roll with the better ball striker.