Odds To Win The WCG-Match Play Championship

I think that match play must be the most difficult form of golf to handicap. While a stretch of bad holes can be overcome in stroke play, it is usually the kiss of death in match play. That makes the outcome so much more unpredictable. Over the course of four days, a top player can have one bad round—or even two—and still manage to win on the strength of two great days. One bad round in match play sens you home permanently.

That’s why we don’t see more match play in professional tournaments. Television doesn’t like the unpredictability. If Tiger has a bad Thursday in stroke play, he’ll probably go low on Friday and television will be able to adore him for the rest of the weekend. If Tiger has a bad day on the first day of match play, he’s on a flight back to Florida.

My guess is that’s also why he decided to skip Match play. His domination of media coverage for the weekend is not assured.

But enough of the cynicism.

Rory McIlroy, at 12/1, is the punters’ favorite to come out on top of the brackets. He’s playing better these days, but is that enough for a match play victory? Hard to say. McIlroy is the top seed in his bracket, but has to get past match play savant Ian Poulter.

Dustin Johnson and Jason Day are at 18/1. Johnson’s distance will give him a decided advantage on a course that lends itself well to long hitters. As for Jason Day, I would not be surprised to find that 2014 is his big year. A Match Play Championship would be a good start.

Henrik Stenson and Jordan Speith are in at 20/1. Stenson had an incredible year in 2013, but has not had much of a year thus far. Speith, on the other hand has a second and five top 25 finishes.

At 22/1 are a trio of players, any one of which I think could walk away with it all: Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan and Sergio Garcia. Mahan has played deep into the brackets the last two years. Sergio likes match play. I wonder about Bubba, though. It seems to me that he loses his concentration—or interest—at times, and that will get him a plane ticket home.

The rest of the odds are below:

Player Odds
Rory McIlroy 12/1
Dustin Johnson 18/1
Jason Day 18/1
Henrik Stenson 20/1
Jordan Spieth 20/1
Bubba Watson 22/1
Hunter Mahan 22/1
Sergio Garcia 22/1
Webb Simpson 25/1
Charl Schwartzel 28/1
Ian Poulter 28/1
Matt Kuchar 28/1
Justin Rose 30/1
Graeme McDowell 33/1
Zach Johnson 33/1
Brandt Snedeker 40/1
Graham De Laet 40/1
Jimmy Walker 40/1
Keegan Bradley 40/1
Luke Donald 40/1
Harris English 50/1
Hideki Matsuyama 50/1
Ryan Moore 50/1
Steve Stricker 50/1
Jason Dufner 60/1
Jim Furyk 60/1
Lee Westwood 60/1
Martin Kaymer 60/1
Patrick Reed 60/1
Bill Haas 66/1
Nick Watney 66/1
Billy Horschel 80/1
Chris Kirk 80/1
George Coetzee 80/1
Louis Oosthuizen 80/1
Rickie Fowler 80/1
Thomas Bjørn 80/1
Victor Dubuisson 80/1
Bernd Wiesberger 100/1
Branden Grace 100/1
Ernie Els 100/1
Francesco Molinari 100/1
Gary Woodland 100/1
Jamie Donaldson 100/1
Joost Luiten 100/1
Kevin Stadler 100/1
Marc Leishman 100/1
Peter Hanson 100/1
Scott Piercy 100/1
Stephen Gallacher 100/1
Thorbjorn Olesen 100/1
David Lynn 125/1
Gonzalo Fdez-Castaño 125/1
Kevin Streelman 125/1
Matteo Manassero 125/1
Miguel Ángel Jiménez 125/1
Scott Stallings 125/1
Thongchai Jaidee 125/1
Jonas Blixt 150/1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat 150/1
Mikko Ilonen 150/1
Pablo Larrazabal 150/1
Richard Sterne 150/1
Boo Weekley 200/1
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