Woods to go but bank on US stars advancing at Accenture Match Play
On the whole, US players enjoyed a strong first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play and we are anticipating an even better one on day two through a 22/1 accumulator, even though Tiger Woods is predicted to make an early exit.
Woods was one of 12 US stars to make it through the opening round at Dove Mountain, but his reward for beating Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano is a tough tie with countryman Nick Watney.
Watney has a fine record at the Ritz-Carlton course with five victories since 2009 and was fairly ruthless in his first round, while the three-time event winner struggled for long periods.
Our other four American tips all take on international opposition, with the big upset expected to come from David Toms against Martin Kaymer.
Toms made eight birdies in beating Rickie Fowler and has an impressive Match Play record of 24 wins from 33 matches, while Kaymer was nothing more than solid in seeing off Greg Chalmers.
Dustin Johnson may be erratic, but he can triumph in his match with Francesco Molinari, which is a clash of two players who required 20 holes to seal their round-one progress.
Hunter Mahan eventually begun to get his act together late on against Zach Johnson and can progress past YE Yang, who was perhaps somewhat fortunate that Graeme McDowell’s short-game radar was off.
Finally, with Luke Donald out, Steve Stricker is the top-seed left in the tournament and he should improve for beating Kevin Na with another success over Louis Oosthuizen having taken a five-week break from tournament play.
Oosthuizen’s record in the WGC-Accenture Match Play is also not the best as this is his first ever appearance in the second round.
WGC-Accenture Match Play selections
Dustin Johnson to beat Francesco Milinari @ 4/7
Steve Stricker to beat Louis Oosthuizen @ 4/6
Hunter Mahan to beat YE Yang @ 8/11
Nick Watney to beat Tiger Woods @ 6/5
David Toms to beat Martin Kaymer @ 5/4