World Golf Championships Dell Technologies Match Play

Field of 64 is set for WEDNESDAY MORNING PLAY!

Better get in and get after it!

Kevin Kisner defends his title against 64 of the top 69 players in the world.

World Golf Championships

Dell Technologies Match Play Championship

Austin Country Club

Austin, Texas

  
Yards (per official scorecard):7,108
Par:71 (35-36)
Greens:TifEagle Bermuda; 5,500 square feet.
Stimpmeter:12 feet.
Rough:Tifway 419 Bermuda at two inches.
Bunkers/Water Hazards110/5 (water in play on 7 holes).
Architects:Pete Dye (1984); Rod Whitman (2015).
Course Record (last):Match Play event.
Purse:$10.5 million; $8.2 million and 550 FedExCup points (winner).

Notes:

  • Field of 64
  • Groups of four round robin.
  • Group winners advance to Sweet Sixteen knockout stage.
  • Knockout from Sweet 16 to 18 hole final.

2020-2021 Season Winners

*- First-time winner

**- First-time winner AND rookie winner

EventWinner
Safeway OpenStewart Cink
120th United States OpenBryson DeChambeau
Corales Punta Cana ChampionshipHudson Swafford
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipSergio Garcia
Shriners Hospitals for ChildrenMartin Laird (playoff)
CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEKJason Kokrak*
ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIPPatrick Cantlay
Bermuda ChampionshipBrian Gay
Vivint Houston OpenCarlos Oritz*
84th Masters TournamentDustin Johnson
The RSM ClassicRobert Streb
Mayakoba Golf ClassicViktor Hovland
Sentry TOCHarris English
Sony Open in HawaiiKevin Na
The American ExpressSi Woo Kim
Farmers Insurance OpenPatrick Reed
Waste Management Phoenix OpenBrooks Koepka
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmDaniel Berger
The Genesis InvitationalMax Homa
WGC – Championship at The ConcessionCollin Morikawa
Arnold Palmer InvitationalBryson DeChambeau (2)
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipJustin Thomas
The Honda ClassicMatt Jones

Check out HORSES FOR COURSES for more details and angles for this week.

Previous Winners: *Playoff

YearWinnerScoreComment
2020Covid-19  
2019Kevin KisnerWinDefeated Matt Kuchar in the final for his first WGC victory. #48 seed of 64.
2018Bubba WatsonWin#35 seed defeated Kisner in the final.
2017Dustin JohnsonWinWorld No. 1 knocked off Jon Rahm for another WGC victory.
2016Jason DayWin2014 champion won the first WGC Match Play at ACC.

Quick Thoughts

The fifth consecutive week on TifEagle Bermuda.

Grounds crew at ACC saved the greens as they were covered when the February freeze arrived.

2015 Rory McIlroy defeated Gary Woodland (not entered) at Harding Park.

From 2014 back to 2000 this event was held in the Arizona desert so I’m not terribly interested in those results.

Match play in the Ryder Cup or the Presidents Cup has nothing to do with this event. The team concept, status of the match, national pride, etc. don’t translate here.

Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy are the only two World No. 1 players minus Tiger Woods (3 times) to win the event.

The event changed format in 2017. Only the group winner moves on. If the group is tied after 3 matches, those who are tied go to immediate sudden death holes. There is no “dormie” in the knockout rounds as somebody must advance.

There is a third place match so TV has something to show between shots in the championship match. Smart.

Pete Dye’s TPC Sawgrass is only two weeks removed so the PLAYERS (see what I did there?) should be used to his tricks, ties and smallish, Bermuda greens.

As like all Dye courses, the greater the risk, the greater the reward and that’s a GREAT angle in match play.

Americans have won the last three editions.

Last Week: Chalk – Betting favorites and my opinions on them

Daniel Berger (+1100): Just WD from the Wednesday Pro-Am. Never good to bet or play fantasy in a vacuum. Does it mean beware the injured golfer? Or is a WD looming? At 11-1, it makes my decision easier: Pass. Pre tournament WD, thankfully.

Sungjae Im (+1400): Cashed 8 straight on TOUR and loves it here. The Florida trend is T28-T-21-T17 and he closed with 66 last week. I hate first time defenders but might have to make an exception this week. 9 straight. T8.

Joaquin Niemann (+1800): Not in love at this price but he’s cashed in 13 straight. Putting won’t be the issue this week as past champs here haven’t needed gaudy stats on the greens. 14 straight with T25.

Lee Westwood (+2200): He “rested” after THE PLAYERS by heading to Augusta to play with his son. Fit as a fiddle these days, we’ll see if he can keep it rolling. I’ll be watching from the sidelines. 70-78 MC as the gas tank finally hit E.

Shane Lowry (+2500): Trying to catch him on the “up” is smart as he closed 69-68 for solo eighth at THE PLAYERS. Noted wind player who’s improved every start here since 2016 (T53, T49 and T21). Sure. Top 20. Noted wind player 74-74 T36. Fart.

Russell Henley (+2800): T24 or better his last three including T8 2020. Winner in 2014 hasn’t posted a top 25 since his season opener at Sony. He’s won there and won here. Win ticket. Top 10. Top 20. His T3 cashes two of the three plays. Boom.

Adam Scott (+3000): Should be a solid contender late into the weekend. Should be. I’m done chasing him for now. Was sniffing around before 72 on Saturday knocked him back. Rallied with 68 on Sunday for T13.

My Long Shots and Others 33-1 or worse

Talor Gooch (+4000): Strong ball-striking show last weekend at Sawgrass should have plenty interested. Grew up in Oklahoma so wind shouldn’t bother him. Plays Riviera well. Top 10. Top 20. T46 didn’t cash.

Chris Kirk (+4000): Plenty in the water here over the years. MC in four of his last five visits. Will test the course historians against very good form, minus his blown engine Sunday (79) at Sawgrass. I’ll sit this one out but would lean form if pressed. T25 but 72 on Sunday didn’t shake the TPC monkey from his back.

Brendan Steele (+4000): Seven straight on TOUR and four of his last five here are T14 or better. Skinny win ticket. Top 10. Top 20. Sensational 65 on Sunday moved him onto the podium. Big week from him and Henley!

Cameron Tringale (+4000): Never hit the top 25 so far from 10 tries. HE HIT THE TOP 25, T13!!!!

Cameron Davis (+4500): Length has never hurt around this joint. Australians don’t mind a bit of sand or breeze either. Top 20. Opened with 66 and regressed T33.

Rickie Fowler (+5500): Take him every week until he wins again and you’ll be back to even. Go ahead, name his last top 10. I’ll wait. Made the cut, then posted 78-71.

Keegan Bradley (+5500): Making cuts but not here as he’s MC in 4 of his last 5. Something gives. Again his success here was before Bermuda so be careful. Those of you who believed were sucker punched with 74 (T30) Sunday. It happens and it happens here.

Doug Ghim (+6000): Pressure cooker in the penultimate group last Sunday popped  the popper. T37 in five of his last six on TOUR suggests he’s almost ready. Top 20. Overcooked. 72-73 MC. Woof.

Wyndham Clark (+6000): Super course horse this week (T11, T7). MC last week but T8 prior at Riviera. Skinny win ticket, Top 10, Top 20. Missed on the number.

JT Poston (+7000): Big Bermuda greens work for me. He owes me one. Skinny win ticket, Top 10, Top 20. 74-73. Trrbl.

Ben An (+7000): Enjoy your top 20 easy. Those bolder will get into the top 10 and top 5. Missed on the number and his consistent inconsistency continues.

KH Lee (+7000): Cashed six of his last seven, including four rounds of par or better last week. Excellent here as well. Top 20. 72-73 no chance.

Top 20 plays

Jhonattan Vegas T30

Michael Thompson T19

Richy Werenski MC

Patrick Rodgers MC

Denny McCarthy T3

Brice Garnett T25

Adam Long MC

Kris Ventura MC

Adam Hadwin T8

Roger Sloan T25

To Make The Cut

Kramer Hickok – WD pre tourney

Scott Harrington (!) T5 heading into Saturday!

Joseph Bramlett MC

This Week – WGC Match Play

Group 1

Dustin Johnson (1) : Didn’t find any success two weeks ago at TPC Sawgrass. Is it Florida (T48, T54) or is it Bermuda?

Kevin Na (29): Opened the Florida Swing with T11 at Concession before ending it with WD before THE PLAYERS. QF last time in 2019 but is he healthy?

Robert MacIntyre (41): Never easy early days on Pete Dye tracks. And never easy on Bermuda greens running hot.

Adam Long (61): Won The American Express on TPC Stadium Course West and T22 two weeks ago at THE PLAYERS.

Analysis: It’s DJ’s to lose, obviously, but he’s 1-5 here since his win. I’m going with @ALongShot. Fitting in this event!

Group 2

Justin Thomas (2): Won at THE PLAYERS last time out so his game isn’t the question.

Louis Oosthuizen (22): I bet he thought the same thing JT did when he saw this draw: Shit, anybody but THAT guy. I’m not sure his pre-tourney WD at Bay Hill or his T41 will keep Thomas up too late tonight. If healthy, this will be a great match as Oosthuizen was a beaten finalist the first event here and hit the QF in 2019.

Kevin Kisner (34): Won from No. 48 and is the event defending champion. Nothing better than T24 in 2021 entering the week.

Matt Kuchar (52): Rob Bolton told me once guys in fantasy golf will disappear right before your eyes and you won’t even notice. It’s been 12 events since his last top 25.

Analysis: All four in this group have been in the last four and looks like a “group of death” on paper. It’s not. It’s Justin Thomas reminding everyone that he’s the best player on the planet.

Group 3

Jon Rahm (3): Just hasn’t put it all together recently but all of his paydays seem to be in the top 10 haha. I know not everyone agrees that this is the best prep for the Masters. One win from six matches since DJ beat him in the final.

Ryan Palmer (24): Texas native will care. Cashed in nine straight including T17 at TPC Sawgrass. Never played here.

Shane Lowry (36): Cruising along into the weekend at Honda before he gave it all back (74-74). Maybe he was looking ahead to this event where he has exactly ONE win from nine matches.

Sebastian Munoz (56): Never played here but is a super putter and that never hurts in match play. One top 25 in 2021.

Analysis: Rahm, on paper, couldn’t have gotten an easier draw. Expect him to take advantage. If not, it’s Palmer for me.

Group 4

Collin Morikawa (4): I don’t love him on Bermuda, or on Dye, but he’s just good enough to turn that upside down. Debut in the event.

Billy Horschel (32): Top 10s twice in his last six. MC twice in his last six. T50-something twice in his last six. Two wins in his six matches here.

Max Homa (35): First appearance for the Riviera winner who’s on fire. His only MC in 2021 was TPC Sawgrass.

JT Poston (63): Putter will carry him as far as he goes. Big week at Sawgrass was followed by an easy MC last week.

Analysis: Homa has had the most consistent run of form from the bunch. Horschel pulling a Kisner would be something.

Group 5

Bryson DeChambeau (5): T3 at Sawgrass is his best so he rolls in wonder why he didn’t solve Pete’s puzzle completely. Of course he’s using this week to drop his first NFT (look it up) so I’m on the fence, again.

Tommy Fleetwood (21): I feel like I’ve written about him every week in Florida to no avail. I’m out.

Si Woo Kim (45): His record on Dye courses is becoming legendary. Makes a shit load of birdies.

Antoine Rozner (56): Boiling hot in Europe with bookend wins in his last six.

Analysis: Rozner vs Kim for the title will be something! Kim on Dye.

Group 6

Xander Schauffele (6): Only played twice in Florida and cashed T38 and MC.

Scottie Scheffler (30): Texan should be inspired on home so and I doubt this is his first look at the place.

Jason Day (44): He’ll enjoy his underdog status is seeding, but that’s it. If he’s upright, he has a chance with his short game.

Andy Sullivan (57): Making cuts in Europe but easily the fourth of four.

Analysis: Heart – Schauffele. Head – Scheffler. Wallet – Day.

Group 7

Patrick Reed (7): Every other year he plays well here so he’s on schedule.

Joaquin Niemann (26): Cashed in 14 straight TOUR events but first appearance here.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (33): Cashed in 12 straight world wide, which includes a pair of wins to close out 2020 in South Africa. Plenty of reps the last few weeks on Bermuda too.

Bubba Watson (55): Lightly raced and not much happening. When he’s disinterested, so am I.

Analysis: Captain America screams out here but it’s not the Ryder Cup. Niemann’s tee-to-green game will outlast the rest. Plus he’s 37th SG: Putting. So yeah.

Group 8

Tyrrell Hatton (8): Knocked out in the 16 the last two years, he’s had at least two wins the last three years.

Lee Westwood (18): Life is gravy. He’ll have on eye on Augusta, not this week.

Sergio Garcia (39): Home game plus he hit it great at TPC Sawgrass (T9). Oh, and it’s a Ryder Cup year.

Matt Wallace (51): Probably asking himself which golf gods he pissed off to get THIS draw. Great for the selfie collection.

Analysis: Can’t be more comfy than Sergio in his own bed with the fam hanging around. Each year he’s gotten closer so if he can handle Hatton, he’s moving on.

Group 9

Webb Simpson (9): 9 matches, one win.

Paul Casey (17): Fairway. Green. 2 putt.

Mackenzie Hughes (48): First visit, been a while since a top 25.

Talor Gooch (59): 4 straight, T5 TPC Sawgrass, T21 TPC Stadium Course.

Analysis: Casey gets a peach of a draw and cashes it in.

Group 10

Patrick Cantlay (10): Played great on the West Coast but WD-MC Florida double doesn’t excite me.

Hideki Matsuyama (23): He’s been here on better form and has never gotten out of the group stage.

Carlos Ortiz (42): Already won in Texas this season on Bermuda in Houston.

Brian Harman (54): T3 at THE PLAYERS.

Analysis: Harman checks the boxes and made the 16 in his only visit. Keep holing putts!

Group 11

Rory McIlroy (11): Still getting over the swing harder deal…

Cameron Smith (25): QF on debut in ’18. 0-3 in ’19. Haha. Match play, baby. Fire form though.

Lanto Griffin (46): First timer, pass.

Ian Poulter (60): The old warhorse is 6-2 here.

Analysis: Poulter and McIlroy will set the tone but Smith will slide through.

Group 12

Tony Finau (12): Never made it out of group play. Putter? Pete?

Jason Kokrak (29): Rolls in on three consecutive top 10s.

Will Zalatoris (40): Five straight T22 or better.

Dylan Frittelli (64): Went to school at UT Austin; only payday in last six T22 at Sawgrass haha.

Analysis: I love Kokrak. Free as a bird. Confident. Form of his life.

Group 13

Viktor Hovland (13): Not the biggest fan of golf in Florida and we ain’t in Florida.

Abraham Ancer (27): T22 Sawgrass, T5 Stadium Course. Didn’t he close 63 two years ago in the desert?

Bernd Wiesberger (43): Quiet 2021.

Kevin Streelman (53): First visit.

Analysis:  Should be a shoot out from the top two and I’ll give Ancer the slightest advantage.

Group 14

Daniel Berger (14): WD rib last week.

Harris English (19): WD at THE PLAYERS.

Brendon Todd (47): Has not WD recently.

Erik van Rooyen (62): First appearance.

Analysis: With the Masters in two weeks, any twinge will be exit stage right for the top 2. van Rooyen pulls the upset.

Group 15

Matthew Fitzpatrick (15): T11 or better in his last four on TOUR.

Matthew Wolff (20): Wrist; last we saw him T64 Riviera.

Corey Conners (37): Of his last 11, nine have gone for top 25s. He’ll need to make a few putts.

Jordan Spieth (49): In Austin? Ha.

Analysis: Fade Spieth and hope Fitzpatrick continues his excellent play. His record here isn’t great so if you’re on the Spieth Train, save me a seat.

Group 16

Sungjae Im (16): Making cuts, trending.

Victor Perez (31): T9 at Sawgrass.

Marc Leishman (36): Nothing in his form suggests this week.

Russell Henley (50): T3 at Honda, hottest player from last week in the field.

Analysis: The experience factor is Leishman by a mile but Im has made his entire bank the last three seasons on courses he’s never played before. I’ll ride Henley and try to steal one here.

Round of 16

Henley def Long

Garcia def Casey

Kokrak def Si Woo Kim

Ancer def Homa

Thomas def Spieth

Niemann def Harman

Smith def Day

Rahm def van Rooyen

Quarterfinals

Garcia def Henley

Kokrak def Ancer

Thomas def Niemann

Cameron Smith def Rahm

Semifinals

Kokrak def Garcia

Smith def Thomas

Thomas def Garcia 3rd

Final

Kokrak def Smith – WINNER

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter (@mikeglasscott) or email me: mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

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