WGC Dell Match Play Best Bets: Ride Scottie Scheffler to His First Pro Win on Sunday
Steve Dykes/Getty Images. Pictured: Scottie Scheffler.
We came into the weekend talking about all of the upsets at the WGC Dell Match Play, only to have Saturday morning go all chalk. Every higher-ranked player advanced out of the Round of 16, including Matt Kuchar who never led against Jordan Spieth until his final putt went in the hole on the 18th.
Perhaps the craziest match of the entire week was the lefty, lefty battle of former Georgia Bulldogs. Bubba Watson was 4-up through six, before losing seven (7!) consecutive holes to go three down to Brian Harman. Harman escaped with the win on the 17th hole to move on to the next round, and just as importantly, secure a spot in The Masters by virtue of World Golf Ranking points generated out of this result.
The players would roll right into their quarterfinal matchups, with the biggest being the highest-ranked seed remaining, Jon Rahm, against local favorite Scottie Scheffler. It was the 30th-seeded Scheffler who dominated from the start, never trailing and finally finishing off the Spaniard on the 17th hole. He will have a chance on Sunday to secure his first professional win in a WGC, in his home state of Texas.
It seemed as though Tommy Fleetwood would break through and position himself for his first win stateside, until Billy Horschel tied the match on the 17th, and they went to a sudden-death playoff. Unfortunately the demons of Fleetwood's past on this side of the pond reared their head again as he pulled his tee shot out of bounds on the first playoff hole. Horschel would close him out from there, securing his spot in the final rounds.
The other two quarterfinal matches were a bit mundane as Victor Perez and Kuchar each controlled their match. They cruised to victory, setting up the final two matches for Sunday at Austin Country Club.
A big factor for these matches will be the weather, as high winds are expected throughout the day on a course that is exposed for the elements to be an issue. Everyone will have to deal with it, but some will be more comfortable than others, and it will make the tee to green game a vital aspect in deciding a champion.
Scottie Scheffler +185 to Win (FanDuel)
I would rather go straight for the overall victory with Scottie Scheffler than lay -150 on him just beating Matt Kuchar in the semifinal match. I think the high winds will be in the favor of the Texan, who is the much longer player and someone that will have the advantage in still having access to the longer holes.
Scheffler was absolutely dominant in both matches on Saturday. He didn't lose a single hole in the morning and then led No. 3 in the world, Jon Rahm, from the second hole on in the afternoon. It really seemed like the clutch putt he made in the playoff on Friday to beat Xander instilled some confidence in him and has him ready to secure his first win. He's the guy I'm backing on Sunday, and I'll do it now at plus money as I believe he's going to be a solid favorite in any matchup.
Victor Perez +100 vs Billy Horschel
It could be the fact that he is lesser known stateside, but Victor Perez has been disrespected a bit in the betting markets throughout this event. I believe he should be the favorite here too, as he has been lights out with all of his game this week.
He rolled right through Robert MacIntyre on Saturday morning as he showed no early nerves, coming out with birdies in three of his first four holes. Perez would ultimately go bogey free in the match, with six birdies in total across just 14 holes in his 5 & 4 win. It didn't stop there as he carried that play into his afternoon match with Sergio Garcia. He posted four birdies and one bogey as he rolled through Garcia 4 & 3.
I'm happy to take Perez at even money on Sunday, and if you're not quite sold on Scheffler, the +400 on FanDuel looks pretty good on Victor.