Sobel’s WGC-Mexico Matchup Bets: Will Tiger Bounce Back in Round 2?

Sobel’s WGC-Mexico Matchup Bets: Will Tiger Bounce Back in Round 2? article feature image

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tiger Woods

  • Jason Sobel lists his three favorite matchup bets for the WGC-Mexico Championship second round, including Tiger Woods vs. Bryson DeChambeau.

Professional golfers always insist that you can never give up on a round.

It’s a good rule of thumb for golf bettors, too.

In my opening-round matchup piece, I wrote that I liked Ryan Fox as a small underdog on Thursday against playing partner Byeong-Hun An.

Fox blinked a couple of times and was down three, his par-par start no match for An’s eagle-birdie. I was ready to write him off, too, but quickly realized that would’ve been a bad idea.

Three holes later, An’s three-shot advantage had turned into a two-shot lead for Fox. Two holes after that, Fox extended it to four and we were running to the bank.

Well, besides the other two losing bets we had in the first round. Let’s do better today.

Season record: 30-41-5, -11.96 units

Jon Rahm over Rickie Fowler (-125)

12:25 p.m. ET

My favorite pick entering this week, Rahm struggled to a 1-over 72 in the opening round, but I don’t think he’s done yet.

The numbers show he ranked fifth in strokes gained driving, but didn’t scramble well (2-for-5 getting up and down when he missed the green) or putt well (46th in strokes gained).

He traditionally putts better as tourneys continue, so I like a low one for him today.

Tiger Woods over Bryson DeChambeau (+100)

12:50 p.m. ET

It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that Tiger didn’t look very sharp on Thursday. He’s made a habit of starting slow, even when he’s playing well, then easing his way into the week — and a first-ever competitive round at Chapultepec likely didn’t help.

But I do think he’ll improve as the tourney continues, for the simple reason that that’s his usual M.O. these days. As I’ve written before, he’s like a heavyweight fighter throwing a few jabs early on, but expect him to land a couple of haymakers today.

Brooks Koepka over Rory McIlroy (+135)

1:51 p.m. ET

I’m admittedly playing with fire here, after McIlroy opened with an 8-under 63 that was 10 better than Koepka.

But look at it this way: If someone had offered Koepka for +130 in this matchup two days ago, you probably would’ve jumped on it.

And truthfully, I’m encouraged by Koepka’s driving numbers, which gained more than two shots on the field. Most importantly is he has penchant for tossing up a 64 or 65 after a poor start, while McIlroy will likely see some negative regression in this one.