Sobel’s British Open Round 2 Matchup Preview: Watch Out for Kisner

Credit:

Steve Flynn, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Kevin Kisner

  • Round 2 of the 2019 Open Championship begins at 1:35 a.m. ET on Friday morning.
  • Jason Sobel previews three matchups for bettors to consider on Day 2 at Royal Portrush:

With early tee times at The Open being extra-early in the U.S., I’m going to focus on second-round head-to-head matchups from the late tee times – which are still kind of early.

Let’s get right to my three favorites for Friday.

Robert MacIntyre (-120) over Kyle Stanley
Tee time: 6:37 a.m. ET

I know, I know: We should never fall for original ‘dog going low for one round, then becoming the favorite the next day. But this one wasn’t even close in the first round. Bobby Mac posted a 3-under 68, while Stanley was seven shots worse at 4-over 75.

This could be an anomaly; the law of averages could reverse these scores. But I trust the 22-year-old Scottish lefty a lot more on the links of Royal Portrush – in potentially windy conditions – then I do Stanley, a strong ball-striker who’s never finished better than T-39 in five chances at this tournament. It might not be a seven-stroke margin again, but MacIntyre should win this matchup.

Russell Knox (Even) over Bernd Wiesberger
Tee time: 7:26 a.m. ET

In recent weeks on the PGA Tour, we’ve seen champions like Chez Reavie and Nate Lashley carry some momentum into the next week, play well for a little bit, then eventually succumb to the mental drain of winning and playing again immediately afterward, posting a big number.

Wiesberger is fresh off a Scottish Open win – and it wasn’t an easy one, as he expended plenty of mental energy while defeating Benjamin Hebert in a playoff. I’m banking on the magic wearing off Friday, against a low-ball-hitting Scottish player who can grind out plenty of pars.

Kevin Kisner (+125) over Hideki Matsuyama
Tee time: 8:21 a.m. ET

Before the tournament started, I ran the numbers and found the average age and world ranking for each of the last 10 winners of this tournament at the time of their victories.

The player in this week’s field who most closely resembled those averages is Kisner, who also happened to finish as co-runner-up last year at Carnoustie. He won this matchup by a stroke on Thursday, defeating Matsuyama with a 1-under 70, and at plus-money, I think a similar result could take place on Friday.

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