Match play is probably the hardest PGA Tour event to try and handicap, and thinking Kevin Kisner was going to win was probably an even harder leap to make. The 35-year-old had won on tour twice, and finished runner up in the WGC-Match Play last year.
No one had ever finished second the year before and come back to win. The 60/1 odds showed that oddsmakers didn’t think he would be the first. But that’s exactly what he did, showing how exactly unpredictable this event can be.
“Grueling, not only from the mental side, but the physical side,” Kisner said describing the tournament. “A lot of golf and a lot of stressful holes and stressful putts that I was able to prevail and had a great week.”
Two Shots Define Tiger
At the WGC-Match Play Tiger Woods, who was 25/1 to win, made it all the way to the quarterfinals, and his week in Austin was defined by two shots.
The first was a ridiculous up and down from underneath a bush. On his knees, Woods hit a chip left handed that rolled to within four feet.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 28, 2019
“Don’t poke your eye out,” Woods joked when asked how to play that shot.
In his match against Lucas Bjerregaard, Woods missed a four-foot putt on No. 18 that would have forced extra holes. He was not so jovial after losing.
“No, I’m not,” Woods brusquely said when asked if he’s where he wanted to be two weeks before the Masters. “I wanted to play (Sunday). This is going to sting for a couple of days, and I’ll get back to it after that.”
Controversial Golfers Collide
It hasn’t been a great year for Sergio Garcia and Matt Kuchar from a public relations standpoint.
Garcia drew the ire of fellow tour pros when he did damage to greens and had a temper tantrum in a bunker at the Saudi Invitational.
Kuchar found himself in a bad spot when a caddie he hired at the Mayakoba Classic let it be known that the golfer had paid him only $5,000 after he won the event, a payday for Kuchar of $1.296 million. After a few days of getting skewered on social media, Kuchar apologized and paid the caddie $50,000.
The two golfers met in the quarterfinals and when Garcia missed a putt, he slapped away the tap in before Kuchar could give it to him. Garcia suggested Kuchar concede another hole as a make up, but Kuchar was unwilling to do that. The whole scene was played out on television and didn’t make either golfer look real good.
Fortunately the two made up the next day, but the incident didn’t do much for either’s reputation.
This week’s Odds, Picks
The PGA Tour is at the Valero Texas Open and a spot in the Masters awaits the winner if they haven’t qualified already. Though Rickie Fowler is the favorite at 10/1, we like Billy Horschel at 25/1. He has played well at this venue and hasn’t missed a cut in eight months.
The women are playing in the first major championship of the year at the ANA Inspiration. The former Dinah Shore has Jin Young Ko and Sung Hyun Park as the favorites at 9/1. We think Inbee Park will win. She finished second last year and won in 2013. She is at 14/1.