Day 1 is all foursomes:
Match 1: Weir/Clark v. Mickelson/Kim
US Win: 48.24%
Intl Win: 39.02%
Can’t help but get the feeling that Weir and Clark is the way to go here. They have similar styles of games and Clark remains very underrated by the casual fan. I’m not sure Weir is all that popular either, for being a major champion.
On the other side of this match-up, Mickelson is coming off a win, mainly because he made EVERY putt and these two teamed up in the Ryder Cup.
However, when I look at this match-up I see a team that doesn’t quite fit together. Almost alone among the really elite player, Mickelson is carried by an excellent short game. Not that Kim isn’t good, but these players have different strengths. If Phil is missing greens, and leaving 10 footers for par, it could be a long day for Kim trying to save him.
That probably doesn’t matter a whole lot overall, but a small unplayable lean to the International side in this match.
Match 2: Sean O’Hair/Hunter Mahan v. Ernie Els and Adam Scott
US Win: 47.36%
Intl Win: 40.53%
At first glance, this seemed like a good opportunity to back the U.S. side. However, that was under the impression that it would be roughly 50-50. Clearly people have caught on that this is quite the talented side. Got to favor the US side slightly in this match-up, but nothing crazy.
Match 3: Lucas Glover/Stewart Cink v. Vijay Singh/Robert Allenby
US win: 39.60%
Intl win: 47.79%
This is the strongest pairing for the International’s tomorrow, and will be there best chance for a point. With Singh and Allenby, the International squad has the two best players in the match and is going against two major champions from this season. Allenby never gets credit for how good he really is since he hasn’t won since 2001, or something like that. Singh is definitely on the downside of his career, but you would have to say Singh is too. Glover might be the wild card as he may be stronger than the two year average indicates because of a strong 2009 and his age. Still, with 2 better players that no one will be rooting for, I like going against the major champions, I think this is turning into my favorite spot of day 1.
Match 4: Kenny Perry/Zach Johnson v. Angel Cabrera/Camilo Villegas
US win: 46.04%
Intl win: 40.46%
It’s hard to really get excited about anyone in this group. Sure, I like Camilo and his upside, but I’m not interested in him with the second most overrated major champion in history. Perry and Johnson should make up a good team, but I don’t think there is any value in this one.
Match 5: Tiger Woods/Steve Stricker v. Ryo Ishikawa/Geoff Ogilvy
US Win: 60.33%
Intl Win: 28.70%
At first, I thought there might be a decent price on Tiger because Ryo is a “phenom” who appears to be getting more credit than what he has actually proven on one of the three major tours. Ogilvy, of course is the king of match play(or variances’ lucky friend).
However, the prices seem to be pretty fair, if shaded towards the Internationals a little.. By coincidence, this pairing worked out pretty well for the International’s as they send a relatively weak squad against the unquestioned best pairing for the US. Norman would have been better off going with Yang/Ryo then Goosen and Ogilvy, though.
It’s also interesting to note that the Tie % here is less. I’m not sure why that is, but it mirrors what all the books have. That, and the fact that I split all the tie lines makes me feel pretty good about the simulations worked up by XLSsports.
Match 6: Jim Furyk/Justin Leonard v. Retief Goosen/ Y.E. Yang
US win: 50.52%
Intl win: 37.62%
This was is incredibly close to being a play for me. It’s hard to pair up Goosen/Yang let them play one ball alternating shots and not like the other side. These, in my opinion, are the two most overrated players on the International side. I’ll pass on this for now, but if I can find anything with a + in front of Furyk/Leonard this is my second favorite match-up of the day.
Furyk/Leonard +103 to win(1)
Singh/Allenby +129 to win(1)
International’s Win/Draw on Day 1 +115(1)
I think the International’s are less popular and the Win/Draw(+1/2) option is the best way to go on Day 1 using the EV numbers from the simulations.
I think I’m going to try and start a live chat at 3, if people are interested, with live in-running odds for the Ishikawa/Ogilvy v. Woods/Stricker match.