A bit of a Match Play lottery in store this week but given the oracle’s one/two finish last Sunday at the Valspar, don’t be surprised to see his balls come out on top once more.
Brooks Koepka 25/1
Has the calm, composed demeanour for matchplay and the long game to thrive in Austin. Below par (no pun intended) in his last couple of outings but a T2 at The Honda earlier this month shows he’s building. Could dominate his group, with big danger Alex Noren totally out of sorts lately, and press on from there.
Kiradech Aphibarnat 125/1
Shares a tough group with Leishman, Knox and debutant DeChambeau but Kiradech might be a dark horse this week. Comes in off a disastrous Players but showed with a T3 in Mexico he can perform in a high-quality field. Beaten by eventual winner, Bubba last year but has the game for matchplay.
Louis Oosthuizen 50/1
Louis looks to be building nicely towards The Masters after clearing half a million bucks last week with a T2 at The Valspar. Runner-up in Austin a couple of years back. Perceived putting frailties not as detrimental in this format. Gritty matchplayer and if he gets through his main danger in the group, Tommy Fleetwood, he could go far.
Jon Rahm 18/1
Austin does seem to favour the big hitters as Bubba, DJ and Jason Day have all won here. Rahmbo has been no worse than 12th in six of his last seven starts and was runner-up to Dustin in 2017. Danger in the group is matchplay specialist Matt Kuchar but he’s off colour of late (maybe due to caddie-gate). Rahm says himself a win is close.
Cameron Smith 66/1
In the same group as last week’s winner and hardened matchplay veteran, Paul Casey but Cam Smith is known in Australia as a tough competitor, one on one. Struggled since a T6 in Mexico, but this event always turns up surprises and Smith might just spring one. Made it to last eight last year.