Bill Haas 2.08 v Bernd Wiesberger 1.84
Back Bill Haas @ 2.08
Wiesberger is a player I really like and his form this year has been frighteningly consistent. He has a win, several top 10s and he hasn’t missed a single cut. Despite being someone who was always expected to take to links golf, the Austrian has struggled and his 51st last week in Scotland sits next to a very average Open record of MC-64-MC-68. I’m not expecting it to get any better this week.
Bill Haas on the other hand has started to find his feet in the majors lately with a back door 5th at the U.S. Open just last month coming after a 9th place finish at Troon in last year’s Open. There was never any glaring weakness in Haas’ golf game to suggest why he was performing poorly in Majors so it must have been a mental thing. Haas is a steady driver of the ball who can flight his ball down well in the wind and he is one of the strongest scramblers around on any Tour. I’m not sure he should be the underdog here and I expect him to continue his new found major form this week while Wiesberger looks set to tread water again.
Hideto Tanihara 2.06 v Kyle Stanley 1.854
Back Tanihara at 2.06
Kyle Stanley is a player in great form having finally got his 2nd PGA Tour win last month at The Quicken Loans. Stanley has one of the best tee-to-green games around but his woeful short game would so often be his downfall. He is also a very one dimensional player who thrives on the target golf courses on the PGA Tour which welcome his towering ball flight. I have seen worse Open records than his 44-39-MC but at the same time I don’t see him as someone who is suited to links golf.
Tanihara is a far more adaptable player and we saw at the WGC Match-Play how inventive he can be to allow for his shorter hitting. He has an excellent short game and warmed up nicely in Ireland two weeks ago where he was 10th. He ranked 3rd in scrambling and 14th in total putting at Portstewart. Tanihara was also 5th way back in 2005 at St. Andrews and should relish the test a lot more than Stanley will.