Full preview from Dell Technologies Match Play and Horses for Courses from Corales Punta Cana Resort and Club Championship.
What a time to be alive people!
World Golf Championships
Dell Technologies Match Play
Austin Country Club
ACC Cheat Sheet
|Yards (per official scorecard):||7,108|
|Greens:||5,500 square feet of Over-seeded TifEagle Bermudagrass.|
|Rough:||Tifway 419 Bermuda over-seeded with ryegrass/fescue at 2″.|
|Architect(s):||Pete Dye (1984); Ron Whitman (2015).|
|Purse:||$10.25 million; $1.845 million, 550 FedExCup points (winner).|
|Defending Champion:||Bubba Watson defeated Kevin Kisner 7 & 6.|
|Notes:||Of the top 66 players, 64 are playing this week. Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott DNS.|
|Notes II:||This is the fourth year at ACC.|
|2018||Bubba Watson||7 & 6||Continued his outstanding late winter/early spring form by dominating.|
|2017||Dustin Johnson||1-up||Jon Rahm battled but DJ never trailed in any match over the entire week.|
|2016||Jason Day||5 & 4||Remember Day couldn’t even bend over to pick up the ball out of the hole? Yeah, that good.|
Recent History Lessons
|Safeway Open||Kevin Tway**|
|CIMB Classic||Marc Leishman|
|CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES||Brooks Koepka|
|Sanderson Farms Championship||Cameron Champ**|
|WGC-HSBC Champions||Xander Schauffele|
|Shriners Hospitals for Children||Bryson DeChambeau|
|Mayakoba Golf Classic||Matt Kuchar|
|The RSM Classic||Charles Howell III|
|Hero World Challenge*||Jon Rahm|
|Sentry TOC||Xander Schauffele (2)|
|Sony Open in Hawaii||Matt Kuchar (2)|
|60th Desert Classic||Adam Long**|
|Farmers Insurance Open||Justin Rose|
|Waste Management||Rickie Fowler|
|AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am||Phil Mickelson|
|Genesis Open||J.B. Holmes|
|WGC-Mexico Championship||Dustin Johnson|
|The Honda Classic||Keith Mitchell**|
|Arnold Palmer Invitational||Francesco Molinari|
|THE PLAYERS||Rory McIlroy|
|Valspar Championship||Paul Casey|
(* unofficial event; **First-time winner)
Facts and Figures:
The last major renovation was after the 2016 edition.
|Recent Defending Champion(s):||Tiger Woods (2003-04).|
|Multiple Winners (entered)||Woods, Day.|
|First TOUR Win:||Kevin Sutherland (2002), Henrik Stenson (2007) and Ian Poulter (2010).|
|Youngest Winner:||25; McIlroy|
|Oldest Winner||39; Watson (2018).|
|Odd Fact:||Prior to 2016 this was a knockout-style tournament. The original one and done!|
The Confidence Factor was the weekly column I wrote for PGATOUR.COM. It has evolved into Horses for Courses. I’ve included the link here for you. It can also be found in The Confidence Factor section at my website.
Inside the ropes
Hold on with both hands and whatever you do, do NOT come in second in pool play!
This is the perfect formula to break someone out of a slump or to re-establish focus.
It’s “pick it up, you’re good”.
It’s not having to write down NINE after the third ball goes in the water.
And it’s unpredictable as all get out!
Shoot 65 and lose? Sure!
Shoot 73 and win? Of course!
Just make sure you’re on the right side of that!
All of these players have played some format of match play in the last few seasons here, at ISPS Handa, Ryder Cups, Presidents Cups, college golf, you name it.
I’m looking for heat and ball-strikers to get me through these tough waters. Making eight-footers for par all day is great but these are NOT ginormous greens that everyone will find in regulation; they’re average in size.
If it’s Pete Dye there will be plenty of risk and reward and the winner will have to include that angle in his playbook.
Dustin Johnson: I actually like that he has Matsuyama in his group so he’ll stay interested unlike his 0-3 last year.
Hideki Matsuyama: T18 is his best in three tries at ACC proving that making putts is more than a formality.
Branden Grace: Only once into the Round of 16 in six tries, he hasn’t inspired since going close in Scottsdale.
Chez Reavie: Only Reavie has a worst record than Grace since going close in Scottsdale. No form = no chance for an upset.
Justin Rose: Last time he snuggled up on a Pete Dye track he cashed T8 at THE PLAYERS. Too sharp through the entire bag for me.
Gary Woodland: The streak of weekends ended at 22 last week at Valspar. Motivation could be an issue here.
Eddie Pepperell: After trying to steal THE PLAYERS, we’ll see how he stacks up against his countryman. His three matches will somehow all be entertaining, if not, his post-round pressers I guarantee will.
Emiliano Grillo: Very solid T26 at THE PLAYERS but that’s not enough for me. I like his complete bag and makes for an interesting long shot.
Brooks Koepka: Form is temporary, class is permanent. It’s not close in this foursome as there is no form but I can spot the class a mile away.
Alex Noren: Absolut Iceberg.
Haotong Li: Swing hard, find it, hit it again. And again. And again…
Tom Lewis: If the Ryder Cup pixie dust exists, he’ll need a double-shot as this field is loaded.
Rory McIlroy: Well, what’s the counter-argument again? He’ll get bored and forget to show up?
Matthew Fitzpatrick: He’ll be hitting first every shot for three days.
Justin Harding: Brand-new and a major step-up in class.
Luke List: It’s hard to be the underdog with three other ‘dogs.
Justin Thomas: Didn’t find much fun in Florida (T30, T35) and will have to get motivated after a week off last week. Upset alert for me.
Keegan Bradley: Won’t make enough putts for me but I’m not breaking any news here.
Matt Wallace: Hasn’t been bothered one bit by the courses and events in the USA and wouldn’t surprise me if knocked out the Dane at the end to advance.
Lucas Bjerregaard: Hard to ignore T12 (Honda) and T30 (THE PLAYERS) in his last two.
Bryson DeChambeau: He’s played enough match play golf to get a pass from me.
Marc Leishman: Please make it windy as possible.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat: Gives zero f#cks and won’t be bothered by any of this.
Russell Knox: History hasn’t been kind here and won’t be around for the heaviest winds of the week on the weekend.
Francesco Molinari: One great round with the new sticks doesn’t make a season.
Webb Simpson: Bermuda greens and his short game nick this group for me.
Thorbjorn Olesen: Would take some doing with the pedigree above him.
Satoshi Kodaira: I mean, come on.
Jon Rahm: Part of his greatest is always teetering on that line of insanity and perfection. He won’t get four rounds to turn it ’round this week.
Matt Kuchar: Record is off the charts as he tortoises his way around, smiling, waving…pissing everyone who he’s playing against off with his short game…
J.B. Holmes: He made all of his putts for the season on the back nine at Riviera.
Si Woo Kim: Wonderfully dark horse who could win all three matches with a hot putter or WD after three holes because of some unforeseen illness/malady.
Xander Schauffele: Quick, who has already won half of the WGC titles this season? Perfect temperament.
Rafa Cabrera Bello: Looking to match the Paul Casey exacta as he crashed and burned his last time out at THE PLAYERS. Took third here in 2016.
Tyrrell Hatton: Fire burns both ways, caveman.
Lee Westwood: I’d pay to watch the top two scramble the bottom two.
Paul Casey: I’m riding the heat wave as he’ll play freely with the Masters on the horizon. Check his record there.
Cameron Smith: Super short game will be his friend again this week but my tiebreaker is broken tee-to-green.
Charles Howell III: He’s been in the round of 16 the last two years and it’s not out of the question for three-in-a-row.
Abraham Ancer: Welcome to the big leagues, dawg.
Tommy Fleetwood: Metronome plus in flying form.
Louis Oosthuizen: Big result at Valspar but wonderfully inconsistent.
Kyle Stanley: Hard pass.
Byeong-Hun An: There’s at least one big upset each year.
Jason Day: He’s won this event twice, including with a bad back in 2016. T8 followed by MC plants just enough doubt.
Phil Mickelson: This group is exactly what he needs to keep focus all three matches.
Henrik Stenson: Nothing inside the top 16 in seven events makes him the odd-man out.
Jim Furyk: His iron game will have to be sharp as he’ll be hitting first in all three matches.
Tiger Woods: Right format, wrong track. Optimists will point out his last starts on “new” courses/events are pretty good. Pessimists will point out THAT PUTTER.
Patrick Cantlay: He’ll be happy to see only two inches of rough as he checks in No. 180 in fairways yet 10th Tee-to-Green.
Brandt Snedeker: Todd Anderson! T50. TODD ANDERSON T5@!!#!@. Todd Anderson T30. Only Tiger has a better short game and he’s not making anything.
Aaron Wise: Classic sophomore slump since the calendar turned to 2019. Long-term hold and enjoy for me.
Tony Finau: Has anyone who has featured on Feherty in 2019 played well this season? Is this like the SI Cover Jinx? No? Maybe? Did you know Finau hurt his ankle at the Masters last year? #NoShitSherlock.
Ian Poulter: Going the wrong way, this is a perfect time for some heads-up golf. I’ll remind you this isn’t the Ryder Cup or anything close to it.
Kevin Kisner: Smashed in the final last year and just hasn’t put together a full week of play yet this season. BUT. It’s Bermuda, his preferred surface. This is a recording.
Keith Mitchell: Brutal draw for this first-timer. He’ll be back.
Bubba Watson: #BubbaGolf likes it where he likes it, regardless of format. Not one of the most difficult groups assembled either.
Jordan Spieth: This is exactly what he needs or he needs to be book on Feherty. Last I heard from him, the putter is fixed. Ok.
Billy Horschel: 151st Tee-to-Green and 8th putting.
Kevin Na: Broken pinky has set him back. Like WAY BACK.
Patrick Reed: The alarm bells sounded with the addition of David Ledbetter to Team Reed. I’m going to let this marinate and check back in at Bethpage Black.
Sergio Garcia: His new hometown of Austin should make for a comfy week. Not firing at THE PLAYERS or Valspar doesn’t default him out of this group.
Shane Lowry: MC in three of four starts on TOUR in 2019 but still has one more WGC than Garcia. Think about that for a second.
Andrew Putnam: He’s 207th off the tee.
THE REST OF THE EVENT
Shaded are the winners but I know you knew that!