Paul Krishnamurty's outsiders trading column has a clear plan this week. Reach the quarter-finals, take the lead then bank the profit. Read more here...
"Seven times Volvo World Matchplay champion Ernie Els...has never replicated that matchplay brilliance in this event but has won more matches than he's lost at the Ritz-Carlton and could barely have asked for a less demanding early draw."
With a pre-determined draw in operation at this week's WGC Accenture World Match Play, there is a temptation to employ the same 'One from each quarter' trading plan advised here. Such a substantial layout, however, would affect this column's usual plan to place realistic lay orders and require betting in brackets from which one of the favourites seem certain to emerge. Instead I'm avoiding the Sam Snead Bracket and only going in with three selections.
In each case, the target to bank a profit is effectively to win three matches, then take the lead during the quarter-final. That would probably ensure being matched at the first lay target of 10.09/1 and therefore earn the column an overall profit of 14 units. Not all that much to ask really, especially when considering their paths to that stage of the tournament.
First in the Bobby Jones Bracket, Thongchai Jaidee could benefit from his opponents' lack of recent form. His first round match against Webb Simpson is a tough ask, but not unwinnable over 18-hole matchplay. Indeed, there is no greater leveller in golf than this format, and Jaidee has upset the odds before in this event. He's only qualified twice and on the first occasion in 2009, the Thai legend reached the quarter-finals. Should he get the better of Simpson, the worst possible draws in the last-32 and last-16 would be out of form Brandt Snedeker and Henrik Stenson. Should either of them go out early, the task would become considerably easier, even on paper.
Next Kevin Stadler could be under-rated from an admittedly tougher draw in the Ben Hogan Bracket at odds of 150.0149/1. After all, it is only a fortnight since Stadler won the Phoenix Open in the Arizona desert and he confirmed wellbeing with a top-25, ranking second for greens in regulation, last week at Riviera. His first opponent Charl Schwartzel will be tough, but the South African wasn't flawless at Riviera and had previously under-performed in his homeland. After that, Jim Furyk and Chris Kirk have little and no tournament pedigree.
Finally, seven times Volvo World Matchplay champion Ernie Els is no forlorn hope at 160.0159/1. The Big Easy has never replicated that matchplay brilliance in this event but has won more matches than he's lost at the Ritz-Carlton and could barely have asked for a less demanding early draw. To begin Stephen Gallacher has no PGA Tour, (or matchplay), pedigree. Next would be either Justin Rose, who has repeatedly struggled in this event and is yet to get going in 2014, or the seriously out of form Scott Piercy. The only one of four potential last-16 opponents with any 2014 form is rank outsider Scott Stallings. Ernie, on the other hand, showed plenty of good signs over the weekend at Riviera.
As partially mentioned above, the two lay orders are at 10.09/1 and then the usual 3.02/1.
Back Thongchai Jaidee 2u @ 140.0139/1
Back Kevin Stadler 2u @ 150.0149/1
Back Ernie Els 2u @ 160.0159/1
Updated 2014 Stats: -13.5 units