Five second round Accenture bets to lay your house on
Day one of the Accenture Match Play is in the book and if I were a smart guy, I’d consider walking away after the luck I had in the opening round. Manassero, the biggest dark horse of my opening five picks, downs Stricker in one of the biggest upsets of the day. I end up going 4-1, which is a really pretty good for a guy who can’t pick the right socks out of his dresser drawer.
But you know what? I’ve never been one to sit on good luck for very long. I always have to press my luck, and usually that ends with me getting burned. But I’m a masochist, what can I say! Pain is my middle name. So without further adieu, I give you five picks to lay your house on in the second round.
JB Holmes (-120) over Ernie Els: It’s the “Big Easy” versus “One of the slowest golfers on the planet.” Based on the nicknames, you’d have to imagine this round should last, oh, one or two days. While getting Els at even money (+100) is tempting, he looked awful yesterday against Jeff Overton, going into a big hole, digging himself out, and then almost blowing the match at the end. Holmes was consistent and really seems to be using the last-minute invitation into the tournament to his advantage.
Miguel Angel Jimenez (-110) over Ryan Palmer: This is one of those matches that could go either way, so I’m going with the more reliable player in this head-to-head battle. When Jimenez is actually using a putter, as opposed to a wedge, to putt, he’s pretty unbeatable. Palmer got the bigger win yesterday, taking down Jim Furyk, but Jimenez should have more in the tank after beating relative unknown Yuta Ikeda.
Matteo Manassero (+135) over Charl Schwartzel: The kid was my biggest upset win of the first round, so you know I have to roll with him the rest of the way. Schwartzel barely made it past Ryo Ishikawa yesterday, and I’m just not sure how much I’d trust him at the moment. If the first kid couldn’t beat Charl, I have a feeling this one will.
Hunter Mahan (-130) over Robert Karlsson: Mahan has been swinging the club beautifully. He did go up against a struggling Sean O’Hair in the first round, but he won in convincing fashion. I like where Mahan’s game is at the moment, and I think he’ll have more than enough to get past Karlsson.
Nick Watney (-110) over Lee Westwood: In match play, you always go with the hot hand, which this time around isn’t the number one golfer on the planet. Westwood may have the top ranking, but it’s Watney who’s making birdies in bunches and laying waste to the competition. He downed Anthony Kim in convincing fashion, while Westwood struggled with his game, posting five bogeys in a 3 & 2 win over Henrik Stenson. Give me the quiet assassin to take down another number one seed.