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Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Matt Kuchar should like the test provided by Trinity Forest

American can get the better of Sergio Garcia

Matt Kuchar is ultra-consistent
1 of 1

Sky Sports Golf, 5pm Thursday

The AT&T Byron Nelson takes place on a new course this year and the links style of Trinity Forest just outside Dallas varies greatly from the usual tests presented to golfers on the US Tour.

Local hero Jordan Spieth, who plays the treeless track regularly, likened it to Royal Birkdale where he won The Open in July, and the man who finished runner-up on that occasion could have another good week.

Matt Kuchar is not the sort of golfer who punters should put great faith in when it comes to outright tournament bets – it's four years since his last success at the RBC Heritage – but the ultra-consistent Georgian has made the cut in each of his last 33 efforts.

Kuchar has finished in the top 30 in five of his last six outings, including 17th spot at the Players Championship last week following an impressive opening round of 66.

He should find the Trinity test to his liking and he looks a good bet to enjoy a better tournament than Sergio Garcia.

The Spaniard has endured a miserable time since he failed to make the cut while defending his Masters title.

He missed the weekend again at the Valero Texas Open and his 70th spot at Sawgrass where, like Kuchar, he was a former champion, suggests there is plenty of work for him to do.

Another talented ball-striker who is enduring a slump is Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama.

He has claimed just one top-20 finish in his last six tournaments – in the Masters when he was 12 shots behind winner Patrick Reed – and that string of results has to be considered a disappointment for a player in the world's top ten.

His form may have bottomed out after he missed the cut by five shots last week, but it is still difficult to imagine we are about to see a much-improved performance.

It could pay to put faith in Marc Leishman to beat him in a match bet.

The Aussie also had little to shout about after his performance at the Players – he finished 63rd – and he will have been disappointed that he has not been able to build on his ninth place at the Masters.

However, he should enjoy this week's layout having grown up playing on coastal courses down under and punters can expect a bold show from a man who has finished in the top six of three of the last four Opens.

M Kuchar to beat S Garcia
2pts 10-11 Coral, Ladbrokes
M Leishman to beat H Matsuyama
2pts 10-11 Betfair, Paddy Power

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Kuchar has finished in the top 30 in five of his last six outings, including 17th spot at the Players Championship last week
E.W. Terms
Sky bet