The Punter's In-Play Blog: Louis the logical pick in Austin

Louis Oosthuizen – The Punter’s idea of value on the final day
Louis Oosthuizen – The Punter’s idea of value on the final day

There's just one round left at the Puerto Open and we're down to the last four at the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship so Steve takes a last in-running look at all this week's golf action here...

“It goes without saying that the McIlroy-Day tie is the glamorous semi and whoever progresses is sure to be a warm favourite but the value may well be with Louis Oosthuizen. I would expect him to beat the far more inexperienced Cabrera-Bello and if the other two have a hard slog in their semi, whoever he meets could be jaded.”

11.30 - March 27, 2016

The Puerto Rico Open looks like a bit of a minefield. Ian Poulter leads on 11-under-par but there are 11 men within three of the Englishman and with the wind set to blow, anything can happen.

Dave Tindall's 50/1 pick, Tony Finau, is in a tie for second alongside Jonathan Byrd and Steve Marino but I thought the value was with Australia's Aaron Baddeley, who sits tied for fifth. With three PGA Tour titles to his name, the 35-year-old Melbourne man knows how to win and he won't care how hard the wind blows.

I haven't completely given up on my early in-play pick, Will MacKenzie, as he's only four back. History suggests that you need to be up with the pace here but with such blustery weather forecast, strange things could happen today.

We've reached the final day of the WGC Dell Match Play and two of the top four seeds, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day meet in one semi-final, with the 16th seed, Louis Oosthuizen, meeting the 52nd seed, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, in the other.

It goes without saying that the McIlroy-Day tie is the glamorous semi and whoever progresses is sure to be a warm favourite but the value may well be with Louis Oosthuizen. I would expect him to beat the far more inexperienced Cabrera-Bello and if the other two have a hard slog in their semi, whoever he meets could be jaded.

Rory is my last man standing and if he goes on to win I'll make a nice profit but it feels right to cover my stakes with Louis at 3.65.


10.20 - March 25, 2016

After two days play at the WGC Dell Match Play, nobody is assured a place in the last 16 but Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Zach Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Rafa Cabrera-Bello are guaranteed at least a playoff, even if they lose their final group matches today. A total of 22 players are already out - including a couple of my picks. The well-fancied Marc Leishman, who played some really poor golf on both days, and Paul Casey are heading home whatever they do today.

I was mildly tempted to get Phil Mickelson onside at 30.029/1 before he plays his crucial tie against Patrick Reed today but I've decided to leave it alone.

Over at the Puerto Rico Open, 27-year-old Puerto Rican, Rafael Campos, leads after round one following an eight-under-par 64 but the 2012 winner, George McNeill, is hot on his heels in second and now trading as favourite. The best of my pre-event picks is last minute addition, Brendon Todd, but he's fully six off the lead and given being up with the pace is usually key here, it's not been a great start.

Maybe I should give up on the event after such a poor start, but two players catch my eye. Will MacKenzie was on my shortlist before the off and he looks a decent price now at 20/1 on the Sportsbook. He finished sixth last year despite opening up with a three-over-par 75 so it will be interesting to see how he fares this time around after beginning the event with a six-under-par 66.

The other one I like is Michael Bradley at a triple-figure price. The 2009 and 2011 winner sits three off the pace and although it's unlikely that he'll get the hat-trick at fast-approaching 50, I don't think someone with such a tremendous tournament record should be so big.


09.45 - March 24, 2016

The first day of the WGC- Dell Match Play has slid by fairly uneventfully and I couldn't help but hanker after the old knockout format, when drama appeared to happen in every other match on day one.

There were a few surprise defeats as per usual, and there were a mixed bag of results for my picks, but with the round robin group format in place, no defeat is fatal as yet and I miss the old format. Day one of the WGC - World Match play used to be one of the most exciting golfing days of the year, yesterday was one of the dullest.

Anyway, the reason I've kicked off the blog so early wasn't just so I could have a rant about how much I didn't really enjoy yesterday's golf, I've kicked it off early because I've added one more at this week's other event - the Puerto Rico Open. In addition to my picks in the preview, I've now added Brendon Todd, who drifted out to a backable 150.0149/1.

The 2014 Byron Nelson winner's form has fallen off a cliff of late but this drop in class could reignite him. He was 14th here on debut in 2012 and 30th a year later so he has shown a bit of an aptitude for the venue and I can see him improving considerably on anything he's shown recently.

The action gets underway at 11.00 UK time so you need to be quick if you want to get on before the off in the win market or if you fancy following Dan Geraghty in with his first round leader suggestions.


WGC - Dell Match Play Pre-Event Selections:
Rory McIlroy @ 13.012/1
Jordan Spieth @ 15.014/1
Paul Casey @ 40.039/1
Branden Grace @ 50.049/1
Zach Johnson @ 70.069/1
Marc Leishman @ 80.079/1


In-Play Pick
Louis Oosthuizen @ 3.65


Puerto Rico Open Pre-Event Selections:
Boo Weekley @ 42.041/1
Peter Malnati @ 120/1 (Sportsbook)
Johnson Wagner @ 150/1 (Sportsbook)
Scott Stallings @ 150/1 (Sportsbook)
Brendon Todd @ 150.0149/1 added after preview publication


In-Play Picks:
Will MacKenzie @66/1 (Sportsbook)
Michael Bradley @ 110.0109/1
Aaron Baddeley @ 15.014/1


*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter

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