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2014 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship Preview/Picks

PGA Betting – WCG Accenture Match Play Championship

The World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship comes our way this week – the best golfers in the world (minus Tiger and Phil) will go head to head at Dove Mountain in 64 matches to determine the winner.

2014 Accenture World Golf Championship Match Play
Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States
Course: The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club
Date: Feb 19-23, 2014
Total Purse: US $ 9,000,000
Winner’s Share: US $ 1,550,000 (17% of total purse)

Defending Champion: Matt Kuchar ($1,500,000)

Seeding and brackets has a lot to do with the set-up of this tournament – the Jones bracket, the Player bracket, the Snead Bracket and the Hogan Bracket each has its share of talent – the winner could emerge out of each. The unique format pits golfers against each other as well as the course which means the mentally strong or those who come in with nothing to lose have a small advantage.

Snow plagued this event last year but it shouldn`t this year as the PGA Pros tee it up on a challenging track looking to dispatch one competitor after another.

The Favorites:

Rory McIlroy 12/1

McIlroy headlines perhaps the toughest bracket in the tournament – anyone will be hard-pressed to emerge. But Rory has proven that he likes this format – he was runner-up in this event in 2012 and he has been playing terrific golf as of late. Names like Westwood, Poulter, Jimmy Walker, Bill Haas and company exist here making it tough for Rory. He is the favorite in his bracket and if he gets out of it could be your winner.

Dustin Johnson 18/1

Another tough bracket is the Snead. DJ has played very well this year – a wins, two seconds and a T6 on the year so far. His present form is terrific but his history in this event is a bit sketchy. He has failed to get out of the first round four of five times! The combination of a poor history with this format and the fact that he will have to beat some of the best match play contenders in the world makes DJ a scary bet here.

Jason Day 18/1

Defending third place finisher in the tournament should do well on a track that seems to be suited to his game. He has been playing well – he finished T2 recently at the Farmers. Day seems to be playing in arguably the most wide-open bracket which could serve him well.

The Contenders:

Henrik Stenson 20/1

Hasn’t been great in this event lately – four straight early round exits but he did win in 2007 and his current form is stellar. He has been arguably the best player in the world the last eight months and despite his recent issues in this format, he could be there Sunday.

Jordan Spieth 20/1

The Player Bracket may be the weakest in the tournament which gives the young gun a really good chance to emerge. But this is his debut here – nerves could be an issue. Spieth however has nerves of steel and the all around game to make some noise. Add in his easy draw and we could reasonably see Spieth in the semis at very least.

Bubba Watson 22/1

No player enters this week hotter – a win at Riviera last week followed a very good T2 at the Waste Management. He should survive the first couple of rounds and anything can happen after that. Watson finished fourth here in 2011 and enters in superb form.
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Hunter Mahan 22/1

No player has been better at this event the last couple of years – a win in 2012 was followed by a runner-up finish here last year. The Snead Bracket is the toughest in the tournament but if one player can emerge it is Mahan. His current form is OK but his history here is terrific.

Sergio Garcia 22/1

Playing in an OK Bracket and enters in some good form. The Hogan Bracket is wide open – anyone could emerge.

Webb Simpson 25/1

Plays in the Jones Bracket which is, in my opinion, the weakest of all. He made the quarter finals here last year but his current form has me looking elsewhere.

Ian Poulter 28/1

Has Ricky Fowler in the first round but is staring at Jimmy Walker for a possible second round. He did win here in 2010 and has a couple of fourths as well. Poulter is arguably the best match play Pros in the game and should be in the mix.

Matt Kuchar 28/1

Defending champion here is 15-3 in this event but his form isn’t great – he missed the cut last week. Also there is a possible match with Jordan Spieth looming. Kuchar looks to have a relatively easy first two rounds but has an incredibly tough road after that. If Kuch was playing well he would be one of my faves. Unfortunately he is struggling to find his game.

Zach Johnson 33/1

Has been playing the most consistent golf of his career but he has hi issues in this format – 6 of 9 times he’s lost in the first round. If he advances – he gets Hunter Mahan in the second round – not good.

Brandt Snedeker 40/1

Is playing in the fairly wide open Jones bracket – that’s the good thing. The bad thing – he isn’t playing all that well ahead of this tourney.

Graham De Laet 40/1

His recent Presidents Cup experience should help him. He had been the most consistent golfer on TOUR before last week – my bet he regains his form and makes a run. He has Patrick Reed in the first round – a bigger obstacle than many would think.

Jimmy Walker 40/1

The hottest golfer on the planet should have an easy in time in Round 1 but could face one of the best match play guys in the land – Ian Poulter. He’s intriguing based on his current form but has a tough road.

Keegan Bradley 40/1

Could make some noise but likely draws the super-hot Bubba Watson in the second round.

Luke Donald 40/1

He won here in 2011 and despite a win in Japan to close out 2013 he hasn’t’ looked great in 2014.

The Sleepers (50/1 or higher)

Hideki Matsuyama 50/1

Has quietly put together a very tidy all-around game – Sixth in proximity, 27th in strokes gained-putting. We are waiting for a coming out party – this one could be it.

The Pick:

My pick this week is simply the best match play golfer in the field. Ian Poulter at 28/1 with is solid all around game and ability to hole crucial puts at crucial times cements his legacy this weekend.

They sleeper is Hideki Matsuyama at 50/1. He is on the verge.



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