What an interesting first couple of days it has been at the WGC’s this week. Perhaps Phil Mickelson was right to take a week off with the family after all. Day 1 saw some great golf being played, with a few people looking hot on the front 9. Kuchar, Day, Van Pelt and Colsaerts impressed us in particular and will be ones to look out for in the 2nd round. But just as the Irish pairing of G-Mac and Harrington stepped out onto the 1st, the heavens opened. It looked more like a scene from the Winter Olympics than it did a golf event. The debate will go on as to whether the desert here in Arizona is the right place to hold this event as it was a similarly snowy story 2 years ago. But with some great work from all the ground staff at the Gallery, proceedings were back under way midway through day 2.
Of course all eyes were on the Nike duo and top seeds Mcilroy and Woods. And they were right to be. Neither looked convincing and for the most part it was their opponents, Lowry and Howell III respectively, that looked the top seeds. Lowry chipping in twice on the back 9 certainly helped! But we always knew it would be risky touching the two big boys this week and we were proved right. Number 66 seed Shane Lowry eventually beat Mcilroy 1 up whilst Charles Howell III beat Woods convincingly in the end 2 and 1. It wasn’t exactly the day the home crowd were expecting either with D.Johnson, Dufner, Bradley, and Haas all crashing out. It certainly opens up the brackets for a few of the more unfamiliar names now in round 2.
As for DownThe18’s picks this week, it was a solid start, 3 out of our 4 picks made it through to round 2. Charl Schwartzel, man of the moment right now in world golf, got severely upset by the WGC rookie Russell Henley and was our only man to let us down. With the South African being the big hitter he is, it was painful seeing him record quite a few bogeys out there. Sadly him and Keegan Bradley let us down on the 10 player 47/1 accumulator! American Matt Kuchar looked very solid against Japanese player Fujita whilst Ian Poulter looked imperious as ever cruising to victory over Dubai Desert Classic winner Stephen Gallagher. As for our last pick Hunter Mahan, he will be delighted to see Tiger Woods go out as it leaves the Gary Player Bracket wide open following his win over young Italian Matteo Manassero.
DownThe18th’s Day 2 Bets
Day 2 Match Accumulator
All to win: Poulter – Watson – Day – Garrigus – Colsaerts – Kuchar – Mahan – Kaymer (Paddy Power 76/1)