WGC - Accenture Match Play - Round 3
And then there were none…
After number one seeds Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods vanished after Round 1, Louis Oosthuizen and Luke Donald saw a similar fate in Round 2. Donald was the first to go and it didn't take long as he lost 7 and 6 to Scott Piercy. He doubled the first hole and the next thing he knew, he was three down after three and it spiraled from there. Oosthuizen kept his match much closer as he lost 3 and 2 to Robert Garrigus. The match was all square through eight holes but Garrigus went four under through the next eight holes.
Overall, Round 2 had its share of upsets but nothing out of the ordinary with the exception of the number ones going down. Of the 16 matches, only six saw the higher seed take out the lower seed and surprisingly none of those matches even made it to #18. While the big news has been about the one seeds falling, only one number two seed is left, Bubba Watson. After Adam Scott and Lee Westwood went down yesterday, Justin Rose lost 4 and 2 to Nicolas Colsaerts on Friday.
The three seeds have not had much better luck as only Ian Poulter remains from that group as Sergio Garcia fell to Matt Kuchar 2 and 1 today after Charl Schwartzel and Jason Dufner lost on Thursday. Meanwhile Steve Stricker and Webb Simpson are the lone four seeds remaining. That means only four out of 16 players seeded one through four are left and conversely, there are five double-digit seeds left. The highest is Shane Lowry at 16 as he followed up his defeat of McIlroy by destroying Carl Pettersson 6 and 5.
After a rough first round, we got it back in Round 2 by going 4-1 +6.8 Units. Now onto Round 3.
Listed are three Third Round Matchup Best Bets (all for 2 Units):
Webb Simpson -140 over Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
Simpson ruined my perfect Round 2 with a 1 up win over Peter Hanson as he birdied 18 which happened to be his only lead of the match. He wasn't at his best with four birdies and three bogeys but he found a way to win. Fernandez-Castano easily took care of Charles Howell III 6 and 5 as he was clearly in letdown mode following his win over Tiger Woods. This one is chalky but Simpson has yet to even play his best.
Tim Clark +135 over Ian Poulter
With a lot of the top seeds falling, Poulter is now the favorite but with all of the crazy upsets, his time might be done here. He loves this format and is a former champion but this number is too overinflated. Clark has been steady and he carded five birdies in Round 2. This is the third straight start here that he has made it to the third round and seeing I think this one is a toss up, the value is all over Clark.
Steve Stricker -120 over Scott Piercy
Stricker won over Nick Watney after 21 holes and while he played nine more holes than Piercy did Friday, I do not think fatigue will be an issue at all. If anything he has a huge advantage if this match is close. Stricker is a veteran and has seen the course many times while Piercy is a rookie and his first two matches have not gone past #15 so there are three holes he hasn't even seen yet.
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- March 6, 2015 - 7:00 PM
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These two teams are moving in opposite directions right now and I think those trends continue here. Columbus has lost seven straight, while behind the strong play of goaltender Corey Schneider the Devils are 6-1-1 in their last eight, most recently coming off a 3-1 home win over Central Division-leading Nashville on Tuesday. If history is any precedence, then New Jersey has to be loving its chances today as it's 6-0-1 with one tie at home in the all-time series vs. the Blue Jackets. The Devils have been particularly efficient on the penalty kill, staving off 21 of the last 22 chances, with Schneider posting a 1.33 GAA in the process. Schneider's numbers are equally as impressive against Columbus, he's 9-1-1 with a 1.71 GAA in 11 starts vs. the Blue Jackets life time, which includes a 33-save effort in last weekend's 2-0 road victory. Columbus comes in with zero momentum, it fell to 0-6-1 in its last seven after a 5-3 setback to Washington on Tuesday; note one big reason behind the Blue Jackets struggles is their inept power play, an NHL-worst 8.7 percent since the All-Star break. NEW JERSEY is now in the playoff hunt and I think is definitely worth the price of admission in this spot, but what do you think? Does the home side lay the hammer down, or can the Jackets score the upset?