This week, we are getting started a day early for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. This tournament will begin on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, and will run through Sunday, March 31, 2019. The actual official break down for the week for each round is as follows:
Wednesday thru Friday: Round Robin
Saturday: Round of 16 and Quarterfinals
Sunday: Semifinals, Championship, and Consolation Matches
The tournament is unique in the fact that this is not a stroke play tournament, but rather it is a bracket-style tournament where golfers will compete against others in their group, to get into the actual bracket, or what many call the Round of 16.
There are a total of 64 golfers participating in this tournament. The groups were chosen by lottery on Monday Night, at 5:00 PM on the Golf Channel, with the results as follows:
Group 1 – Dustin Johnson | Hideki Matsuyama | Branden Grace | Chez Reavie
Group 2 – Justin Rose | Gary Woodland | Eddie Pepperell | Emiliano Grillo
Group 3 – Brooks Koepka | Alex Noren | Hao Tong Li | Tom Lewis
Group 4 – Rory McIlroy | Matthew Fitzpatrick | Justin Harding | Luke List
Group 5 – Justin Thomas | Keegan Bradley | Matt Wallace | Lucas Bjerregaard
Group 6 – Bryson Dechambeau | Marc Leishman | Kiradech Aphibarnrat | Russell Knox
Group 7 – Francesco Molinari | Webb Simpson | Thorbjorn Olesen | Satoshi Kodaira
Group 8 – Jon Rahm | Matt Kuchar | JB Holmes | Si Woo Kim
Group 9 – Xander Schauffele | Rafa Cabrera-Bello | Tyrrell Hatton | Lee Westwood
Group 10 – Paul Casey | Cameron Smith | Charles Howell III | Abraham Ancer
Group 11 – Tommy Fleetwood | Louis Oosthuizen | Kyle Stanley | Byeong Hun An
Group 12 – Jason Day | Phil Mickelson | Henrik Stenson | Jim Furyk
Group 13 – Tiger Woods | Patrick Cantlay | Brandt Snedeker | Aaron Wise
Group 14 – Tony Finau | Ian Poulter | Kevin Kisner | Keith Mitchell
Group 15 – Bubba Watson | Jordan Spieth | Billy Horschel | Kevin Na
Group 16 – Patrick Reed | Sergio Garcia | Shane Lowry | Andrew Putnam
The match play tournament will take place at the Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas. This course is a Par 71 golf course that measures just under 7200 yards. The course was designed by Pete Dye, so we want to put a heavy emphasis on shot placement.
Besides shot placement, the other factor that you want to focus on is how well your particular golfer can make it out of the first-round group and into the Round of 16. The bottom line is that if the golfer doesn’t get out of the Group Play, he has no chance, so look for golfers that can win their Group Play.
With that being said, let’s take a look at a few of these golfers that we like for this unique Match Style Tournament.
The first golfer we are looking at this week is Brooks Koepka. Koepka hasn’t really been in great form lately, but he does play well at these competitive match style tournaments. Koepka finished in 16th place here in 2017 and did not play here last year. He is a competitive player, that is in a great group! He has Alex Noren, who is competitive, but he also has Hao Tong Li and Tom Lewis, neither of whom have ever made it out of the first round of a match play tournament, and both are in terrible form, missing the cut in 2 of the last 3 tournaments. Koepka should easily make it out of the Group Play and compete aggressively in the Round of 64.
The second golfer we are looking at this week is Louis Oosthuizen. Louis is in a group with Tommy Fleetwood, Kyle Stanley, and Byeong Hun An. Tommy Fleetwood has not made it out of Group Play in either of the last two years that he played. Stanley played well here last year but is in absolutely horrible form, missing the cut in each of his last three tournaments and 6 of the last 7 overall. That leaves just Byeong Hun An, who is in decent form but didn’t make it out of group play two years ago when he played in this tournament. That means Louis should have a fairly easy time getting out of group play and into the Round of 64.
My third and final golfer for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is Bubba Watson. Watson won here last year, so he knows what it takes to win but more importantly, you look at who he is up against in the Group Play, and I think he has an easy route. He has Jordan Spieth, who is playing horrible lately. This isn’t the same Spieth that we’ve seen in the past years and not as competitive as we have seen him. He is also up against Billy Horschel and Kevin Na, both of which are not playing very good golf right now.