WGC Dell Match Play: Best Bets for Day 3 Including Patrick Reed & Matt Kuchar
Ben Jared/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Reed.
It was another great day of match play golf at Austin Country Club on Thursday as it was a must-win situation for anyone that didn’t get on the scoreboard on Day 1.
Unfortunately for Justin Thomas, it will be a short week as he lost for the second straight day, this time to defending champion Kevin Kisner. Bryson DeChambeau was able to turn it around and come from behind to defeat Si Woo Kim, giving him a shot at the weekend with a win in his Friday match with Tommy Fleetwood. Several others put themselves in full control of their groups, and three of them are seeded in the 60s. Dylan Frittelli, Ian Poulter and J.T. Poston are all 2-0 heading into Friday’s final matches of the group play round.
There are many in must-win situations and others with simply nothing but pride to play for on Day 3. All of that will make for a very interesting betting market as we head into Friday at the WGC Dell Match Play. I will, however, take a look at just the biggest matches and take a stand in those that are win or go home.
Patrick Reed -129 vs Joaquin Niemann
I shouldn’t need to explain too much around this one as Captain America is the guy you want in a must-win spot. Reed has long been known for his prowess in match play, and it’s hard to go any other direction tomorrow.
He has played a bit better than Niemann so far this week, but it’s tight. Reed just has a big advantage in regards to experience, and the inexperience showed a bit for the Chilean on Thursday as he stumbled in an effort to close out Bubba Watson down the stretch. I was expecting to pay a little more juice on this one than the current line is offering, which is a nice little bonus in a spot I am very comfortable betting Patrick Reed.
Ryan Palmer +150 vs Jon Rahm
I’m mostly just taking a strong number here. This is an 18-hole matchup with two guys very familiar with each other’s game as they teamed up at the Zurich a couple of years ago (as I am sure you will hear over and over again tomorrow).
Palmer merely escaped on Thursday in his match with Sebastian Munoz, with his only birdie coming on the closeout hole. He didn’t have his best stuff by any means, but he still got it done. I expect he will be able to bounce back to the form from Wednesday where he had seven birdies or better. I also haven’t loved what I’ve seen from Rahm this week, and with +150 available, I’ll take my chances on the underdog.
Scottie Scheffler +100 vs. Xander Schauffele
It was a nightmare finish for Scottie Scheffler on Thursday as he went into the 17th hole with a 2-Up lead on Andy Sullivan before losing both holes. He certainly won’t have the momentum going into Friday, especially as Xander snagged two straight to close out his match with Jason Day. I personally don’t put too much stock in that momentum in match play because each will stand on their own, and once you’re in it, it’s about who can put the scores on the card.
Scheffler has been the better player through two days at Austin Country Club even as he has given a couple away with big numbers and poor shots. I’m willing to take that volatility at even money and take my chances in the match set to decide Group 6.
Matt Kuchar +112 vs. Kevin Kisner
This is a rematch of the 2019 final, and this one will send someone home as well. Kuchar and Kisner are both 2-0 heading into Friday, and will get a heads-up match to decide who plays the weekend out of Group 2.
I’m going for a bit of the revenge factor with Kuchar, but he has also played the better golf through two matches. He has nearly twice as many birdies or better with 11 to just six for Kisner. Neither player is likely to give any holes away tomorrow, which is part of what makes them both such solid players in this format. I’ll happily take the plus money on a guy that appears to be playing a bit better through the first two days this week.