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BlogMatch Play Preview and Picks

WGC-Dell Match Play Championship

March 22nd – 26th, 2017

Austin Country Club

Austin,, TX

Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,093

Purse: $9.75 million

with $1,620,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Jason Day

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 64 of the top 69 in the latest Official World Rankings, with only #5 Henrik Stenson, #8 Adam Scott, #9 Rickie Fowler, #13 Justin Rose and #51 Adam Hadwin not playing.

The field one includes 15 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2017.  Those top-25  players in the field are: #1 Hideki Matsuyama, #2 Justin Thomas, #3 Dustin Johnson, #5 Jordan Spieth, #6 Pat Perez, #7 Jon Rahm, #8 Brendan Steele, #10 Gary Woodland, #11 Marc Leishman, #14 Charles Howell III, #16 Kevin Kisner, #18 Francesco Molinari, #21 Daniel Berger, #23 Webb Simpson and #24 Russell Knox.  The list of those not playing are #4 Adam Hadwin, #9 Rickie Fowler, #12 Mackenzie Hughes, #13 Hudson Swafford, #15 Justin Rose, #17 Rod Pampling, #19 Lucas Glover, #20 Cody Gribble, #22 Luke List and #25 Tony Finau.

The field includes 15 players in the top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list.  #1 Hideki Matsuyama, #2 Justin Thomas, #3 Dustin Johnson, #5 Pat Perez, #6 Jordan Spieth, #7 Jon Rahm, #8 Marc Leishman, #9 Gary Woodland, #11 Brendan Steele, #13 Kevin Kisner, #15 Charles Howell III, #18 Daniel Berger, #20 Francesco Molinari, #23 Russell Knox and #25 Webb Simpson.

The field includes 3 past champions: Jason Day (2016 & ’14), Rory McIlory (2015) and Matt Kuchar (2013).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

**NOTE**

The first match is Wednesday morning, as the event is five days instead of the normal four days.

INVITATION TO JOIN OUR GOLFSTATS/DRAFTKINGS FANTASY GAME.

If your a member and play DraftKings games, we now have a weekly game.  

Here is the invitation to join our game:

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 11.02.54 AM

 

                                                                                      Hit this link to join our DraftKings Fantasy golf game

PS.  Sorry, I was under the impression that they were doing a Match Play game but I was looking at the Masters game, so this invite is not for Match Play but for Puerto Rico that starts on Thursday morning.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship

Player Arnold Palmer Valspar Hero Indian WGC Mexico Honda Genesis Open Super 6 Perth AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open Dubai Farmers CareerBuilder Abu Dhabi
Dustin Johnson
(376 pts)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(198)
DNP Win
(88)
DNP 3
(60)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T2
(33.33)
Jon Rahm
(242.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T3
(135)
DNP DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
T16
(11.33)
DNP Win
(44)
T34
(5.33)
DNP
Tyrrell Hatton
(235.67 pts)
T4
(80)
DNP DNP 10
(60)
T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T3
(30)
DNP DNP T13
(12.33)
Tommy Fleetwood
(230.67 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP 2
(150)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP Win
(44)
Kevin Kisner
(194.83 pts)
T2
(100)
DNP DNP 11
(58.5)
T48
(1.33)
DNP DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP T25
(8.33)
DNP
Jordan Spieth
(178.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(57)
DNP T22
(18.67)
DNP Win
(88)
T9
(15)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brandt Snedeker
(166.17 pts)
T28
(22)
DNP DNP T7
(82.5)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 4
(53.33)
DNP DNP T9
(15)
DNP DNP
Rory McIlroy
(162.5 pts)
T4
(80)
DNP DNP T7
(82.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Thomas Pieters
(160.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T5
(105)
CUT
(-6.67)
T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(9)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Marc Leishman
(159.33 pts)
Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP T27
(15.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T24
(8.67)
DNP T20
(10)
DNP DNP
Martin Kaymer
(156.5 pts)
T23
(27)
DNP DNP T23
(40.5)
T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T23
(9)
DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
Ross Fisher
(142 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T3
(135)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T19
(10.33)
Francesco Molinari
(142 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP T20
(45)
T14
(24)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(12)
T12
(12.67)
DNP
Gary Woodland
(138 pts)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP T38
(18)
T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T20
(10)
DNP DNP
Phil Mickelson
(126.17 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T7
(82.5)
DNP T34
(10.67)
DNP 65
(0)
T16
(11.33)
DNP T14
(12)
T21
(9.67)
DNP
Sergio Garcia
(125.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(57)
T14
(24)
T49
(0.67)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP DNP DNP
Louis Oosthuizen
(124 pts)
T28
(22)
DNP DNP T48
(3)
T21
(19.33)
DNP 5
(46.67)
DNP 3
(30)
DNP T41
(3)
DNP DNP
Rafael Cabrera-Bello
(120 pts)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
T38
(18)
T37
(8.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T11
(13)
DNP DNP T19
(10.33)
Pat Perez
(114.67 pts)
T17
(33)
DNP DNP T38
(18)
DNP T28
(14.67)
DNP T14
(24)
WD
(-1.67)
DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP
Jason Dufner
(111.83 pts)
DNP T11
(39)
DNP T23
(40.5)
T14
(24)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T25
(8.33)
DNP
Matthew Fitzpatrick
(108 pts)
T13
(37)
DNP DNP T16
(51)
68
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T5
(23.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Jhonattan Vegas
(107.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T38
(18)
T4
(53.33)
T15
(23.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
T34
(5.33)
DNP
Paul Casey
(100.67 pts)
T41
(9)
DNP DNP T16
(51)
T11
(26)
T39
(7.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
T58
(0)
DNP
J.B. Holmes
(100 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(57)
DNP T34
(10.67)
DNP T23
(18)
T24
(8.67)
DNP T33
(5.67)
DNP DNP
Matt Kuchar
(100 pts)
DNP T22
(28)
DNP T20
(45)
DNP T22
(18.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T9
(15)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Justin Thomas
(92.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T5
(105)
CUT
(-6.67)
T39
(7.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Hideki Matsuyama
(85.5 pts)
T45
(5)
DNP DNP T25
(37.5)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP T33
(5.67)
DNP DNP
Jimmy Walker
(79.5 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T25
(37.5)
T21
(19.33)
T11
(26)
DNP T55
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Charl Schwartzel
(76.33 pts)
T45
(5)
6
(60)
DNP T38
(18)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brendan Steele
(75.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T48
(3)
T14
(24)
T39
(7.33)
DNP DNP T16
(11.33)
DNP T20
(10)
T6
(20)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship

Player Arnold Palmer Valspar Hero Indian WGC Mexico Honda Genesis Open Super 6 Perth AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open Dubai Farmers CareerBuilder Abu Dhabi
Si Woo Kim
(-29 pts)
T49
(1)
WD
(-5)
DNP T72
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP WD
(-1.67)
DNP DNP
Brooks Koepka
(-21 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T48
(3)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T42
(2.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Russell Knox
(-20 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP 70
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Kevin Chappell
(-7.67 pts)
T49
(1)
DNP DNP T55
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T48
(1.33)
75
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Yuta Ikeda
(0 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T61
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
K.T. Kim
(0 pts)
DNP DNP DNP 76
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Alex Noren
(6.67 pts)
T49
(1)
DNP DNP T55
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T13
(12.33)
Thongchai Jaidee
(8.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Scott Piercy
(13.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T32
(27)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T55
(0)
73
(0)
DNP DNP T41
(3)
DNP
Jim Furyk
(16.33 pts)
DNP T41
(9)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP T39
(7.33)
DNP T66
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

One thing that is certain, for the first time since the LaCosta and Harding Park days it seems everyone is happy with the venue.  After taking it to several courses in a span of ten years, Austin Country Club seems to be the perfect home for the Match Play.  The course may not be liked by 100% of the field like LaCosta was, but only a small handful of players aren’t completely happy with Austin C.C.  But another problem is now looming and that is the timing of this event.  It was well received in the days when it was played at the end of the west coast swing.  When the event moved in 2015 to the end of April and the first part of May, the week before the Players, the timing was ok.  But now two weeks after the WGC-Mexico and two weeks before the Masters, players aren’t happy.  This is probably a good time for the PGA Tour, who is evaluating a possible move of the Players to March, that possibly having a big event two weeks before the Masters may not work.  So the tour needs to do something with this so called Florida swing/pre-Masters run of golf.  What is the answer?  Probably move the WGC-Mexico to end at the end of the west coast swing, start the Florida swing and have the Players three weeks before the Masters and then move the Match play to the end of April or the start of May.  For 2018 the Tour is stuck with Mexico coming the week after the Honda, but you can bet that changes will come for 2019.

Three years ago when Jason Day beat Victor Dubuisson on the fifth extra hole, the Dell Match Play had a lot of problems.  The biggest was their sponsor, Accenture, who was leaving which created a problem for the World Federation in securing another one.  Next was the venue, Dove Mountain was barley tolerable but did have a Ritz Carlton for the sponsors but Tucson wasn’t the draw that many thought it would be.  The course wasn’t a favorite of many except for Ian Poulter, Matt Kuchar, Nick Watney, Bubba Watson and Hunter Mahan who made that site an annuity for them.  It became a disadvantage for many and even though they didn’t say it, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott took a pass manly because of the course.  Many cited the fact that this event should be moved around so that it didn’t give a group of players an advantage each year but let’s face the one ton gorilla and that was the format.  For most, pure Match Play in which if you lose you go home was not a big winner with players, fans, TV and the media.  The sight of half of your marquee names going home on Wednesday didn’t help matters either.  In the 16 years of the tournament you never had that one great final with the number one ranked player against the number two.  Even with Tiger Woods making it to the final match four times, it was against Darren Clarke (who beat him), David Toms, Davis Love III and Stewart Cink.  Guess we should of seen this when the very first final match in 1999 pitted superstars Jeff Maggert and Andrew Magee.

So when Day finally beat Dubuisson on the fifth extra hole it put an exclamation point onto this event.  Many felt that the event would not continue, which was wrong thinking.  But with Accenture out of the picture, the contract with Dove Mountain finished it was time to reevaluate everything about the Match Play Championship.  It took a bit but a stop-gap sponsor in Cadillac was found and the event moved dates to late April and the venue was Harding Park in San Francisco.  That move was more of a way to appease the city of San Francisco who had a contract with the PGA Tour to play a number of events over a long period of time.  Still Harding Park, which held the 2009 Presidents Cup and 2005 WGC-American Express Championship was a site that people could embrace.  But the most important element that those that ran the championship did was change the format.

It was still match play but no more single elimination matches the first three days, the field was broken up into 16, four-player groups and over the first three days everyone played the other three men in their group and the player with the best record in each group advanced to the Round of 16.  From there the event went back to single elimination match play but the focus was that all 64 players were around three days so that fans and TV had three great days of action.

The format worked in 2015, after Friday’s play marquee names like Rickie Flower, Hideki Matsuyama, Charl Schwartzel, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey, Jim Furyk and Rory McIlroy were still playing.  McIlroy went on to win which helped verify that the format worked.  In 2016 they jiggled a bit the playoff format the first three days, but the three-day round robin was a big success as the weekend saw lot’s of marquee players with Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, with Day winning over British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen.

When the sun set that Sunday in San Francisco back in 2015 the Match Play Championship was brought back from the dead.  The crowds were good and enthusiastic, weather was great and the golf was spectacular but the one negative was the course, Harding Park is very boring and not a great course for Match Play.  This had been the biggest problem with the Match Play championship as the previous four courses that held it along with Harding didn’t give the excitement and challenges to the championship.  Still there was a lot of excitement with some of the changes that came out of San Francisco.  First was a new sponsor, as Dell computer would be the title sponsor, signing on through 2019.  Along with Dell and new location and venue was named, Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas.

When it was announced not many folks knew about Austin Country Club other than legendary teaching professional was the club’s resident instructor for over 70 years before his death in 1995.  Another thing was that the club, which was founded in 1899, built a new course in 1984 and hired Pete Dye to do the course.  Because the course is ultra private not many knew how wonderful the course really was.  Last year when the course was announced as the new home of the Match Play for the next three years, it closed for ten months as renovations were done to bring the course up to standards of the modern player.

The course held up and was embarrassed by all.  Attendance was good and the event was interesting all five days, so the PGA Tour got it right, except for one little thing, the date.  Five players are no-shows, #5 Henrik Stenson, #8 Adam Scott, #9 Rickie Fowler, #13 Justin Rose and #51 Adam Hadwin and this is a problem and hopefully in the future a new date will please all.

Tournament information:

This will be the 19th World Golf Championship – Dell Match Play championship.  Austin Country Club is the sixth different course to hold this championship. In 2015 TPC Harding Park held the event for one year. The previous home was the Golf Club at Dove Mountain for six years and before that the Gallery Golf Club held it for two years, before that the LaCosta Spa and Resort, which held the 1999, 2000, 2002 through 2006 events. In 2001 the Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia was the venue.

Course information:

  • Austin Country Club
  • Austin, Texas
  • 7,108 yards     Par 35-36–71
  • Course has a 75.2 rating and slope rating of 152 fron the championship tees. Austin Country Club is a private club eight miles northwest of downtown Austin.  The club was formed in 1899 and the first course was nine holes with sand greens.  It’s believed that the course and club was the first of its kind organized in Texas.  The course grew to 18 holes but in 1949 was deemed to be too small so the club moved to east Austin and had Perry Maxwell build them a new course.  This would be the course where Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw would spend so many hours under the watchful eye of Harvey Penick. The Club remained at the Riverside Drive location until 1984, at which time the decision was made to move to the current Davenport Ranch location in the hills of west Austin.
  • Dye was chosen to create the new course and was given 180 acres of diverse terrain that goes from golf in the hills weaving through canyons and woodlands and then juts out to the lowlands that has a river border one side of the course.  So there are different natural features to every one of the holes making it a delight.  You will see a touch of TPC at Sawgrass, Blackwolf Run and Oak Tree Country Club to name some courses that have held professional events on.
  • More importantly the course isn’t very long and will have a lot of risk and reward type of shots, the kind that will make for great Match Play golf.  All of the par 5s will be reachable and the 12th will be the favorite, as water from the river runs the final 150 yards on the left of the hole, goes right up along the left of the green and beyond the green.  So we will see a lot of drama as players decide to go for the green and the shot that will take to get on.  The next hole plays with water in front of the green and all along the left side.  Since the hole plays 317 yards it will challenge players to take driver out and go for it, only problem the player has to hold a driver on the green which makes the shot almost impossible.   But players will still try to get it close.
  • As for the par 3s, all of them are great from the shortest the 145 yard, 17th to the longest, the 198 yard, 7th.  All have a safe shot to the middle of the green, but again for match play with the greens tucked away in front of water, bunkers and ravines, it creates a perfect match play scenario.  That will be the key to the course, it’s perfect for match play.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship:

Key stat for the winner:

  • On the PGA Tour, there are some players that look more at a big check instead of playing to win.  These players are dangerous in match play because they have only one thing to think about, winning.  So in some respects this year’s 9 Dell rookies (Kevin Chappell, Tyrrell Hatton, William McGirt, Jon Rahm, Brendan Steele, Hideto Tanihara, Jhonattan Vegas, Jeunghun Wang and SiWoo Kim) have just as much of a chance as Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson or Hideki Matsuyama.  Just look at what happened in 2014, Jordan Spieth made it to the quarter-finals while Victor Dubuisson made it to the finals.  Just look at what happened to Tiger Woods in 2002 when he got beat in the first round by Peter O’Malley or even in 2013 when Charles Howell III beat him on Wednesday.  So don’t think that just because Dustin Johnson, who was the number one draw is a better player than the 64th draw SiWoo Kim.  When you see some pairings of a superstar against a lesser name player like K.T. Kim or Joost Luitten on paper the match looks like David verses Goliath.  We all know what happened in that story it’s happened before and will happen in years to come.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

  • We have very limited history of players at Austin Country Club.  Now Jordan Spieth has played the course more than anybody else but Jason Dufner and Jimmy Walker have also played it.  Both have played it for years and have played it in all kinds of weather so they know the extreme of it.  So everyone starts with a clean slate on Wednesday with nobody having a home field advantage like Ian Poulter, Matt Kuchar, Nick Watney, Bubba Watson and Hunter Mahan had at Dove Mountain for all those years.
  • Match play is a rare format on the PGA Tour.  Even though it’s the game that is played regularly in golf clubs around the world, its not played that much on the PGA Tour.  The secret to winning in match play is not playing the best, but, more importantly, avoiding doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.  In a lot of matches someone could be striking the ball perfectly and putting well while his opponent could be hitting it all around the lot, missing greens, but chipping in for halves on holes.  Before you know it that match could come down to the final hole and the player that isn’t doing the best could chip in and win a match.  It happens all the time.  Remember a score doesn’t mean anything in match play.
  • This is also a different format.  Just because you lose that first round match on the 20th hole doesn’t mean like previous years that you were on a plane home that night.  You still have two more matches and could all of a sudden find your game and find yourselve winning your group.  So it’s really important to take each match at one time and not worry if your playing poorly early.  A prefect example of this was last year when Dustin Johnson lost his first round match to Robert Streb but was still able to win his group and going onto the quarterfinals before losing to Louis Oosthuizen.  Even bigger was Rafael Cabrera-Bello (who finished 3rd) and Rory McIlroy (who finished 4th) in group play they halved a match and still made it to the weekend.
  • So anything can happen in this format.
  • A couple of things that can help you pick a winner is to look at those with good match play records.  Past winners of the U.S. Amateur like Ryan Moore and Phil Mickelson know how to win in this format so they have a bit of an advantage. Also look at how strong Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia have been in the Ryder Cup. Those that have won other match play events like Paul Casey and Kiradech Aphibarnrat who won the Paul Lawrie Match Play on the European Tour, those that do well in playoffs or with leads.
  • Also look at players with good single records in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. Players like Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed.  Also players that have been doing well of late like Dustin Johnson, Kevin Kisner and Tommy Fleetwood should do well this week.
  • In the past the most difficult place to pick winners was the first round.  You were a superstar if you picked half of them right.  Now the first round means nothing, so look for more marquee players dominating the first three days and getting into the round of 16 on Saturday morning.  Again seeds mean nothing anymore.

Some secrets to playing at Austin Country Club:

  • Austin Country Club is perfect for match play because the course isn’t long, it’s not very tight and the greens are generous.  But with all of the changes there are a lot of bunkers in the fairways that will catch wayward drives.  Making the bunkers hard, they are deep and could be impossible to get to the green.  Also lot’s of hazards to avoid and you will see a lot of them if you are going for a tight pin position.  In some ways hitting first to the green you control what your opponent will do based on your shot.  If you can put pressure on him he will lose holes.  But if you don’t hit the perfect shot and get yourself in trouble, it makes it easy for your opponent to hit the middle of the green and make par to win the hole.
  • Weather will also play a key.  It’s been very wet the last couple of weeks in Texas, so the course could be soft and easy.  In looking at the long range forecast is dry Wednesday and Thursday, but Friday is suppose to be a mess with 90% chance of thunderstorms.  The good news after that is clear skies on Saturday and Sunday. Wind will be a problem on Thursday, forecast calls for 19 mph, but again check back closer to the day. Again you create your own storyline in this format, you can control your own destiny in tough weather.  Let the other player make the mistakes, not you.
  • Greens have a lot of undulations which Harding Park didn’t have.  Good putters and scramblers will help a player savage his match.
  • Driving will be a key.  Just like at Augusta National, you have to place a drive in a good spot to have a good shot to the green.  The length is short, but if you don’t place your drives in the right spot it will be hard to get close on your shot to the green.  So a straight driver will have an advantage over a long hitter this week.

Who to watch for at the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship

Best Bets:

Rory McIlroy

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
4 Win T17 T33 2 T17 T17 T5

Has proven to be playing in a match play format, always rises to the occasion.

Dustin Johnson

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T5 T17 T33 T33 T9 T33 T33 T33

Last year was the first time he really played good in this event, also think the course suits his game.

Louis Oosthuizen

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
2 T5 T5 T17 T17 T33 T33

He has been great in this event the last three years and think he will do great again this year. Played well in the match play shotout in Australia last month.

Best of the rest:

Jordan Spieth

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T9 T17 T5

He is the local hero, played well last year and should continue the good play.

Phil Mickelson

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T18 T17 T9 T17 T17 T9 T9

Watch him, has never done well in this event but hasn’t played it much the last six years.

Sergio Garcia

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T18 T34 T9 T17 T33 4 T33 T17 T17 T9

This guy is like a yo-yo in match play, has some great moments along with some poor, but I think this year will be a good week for him.

Matt Kuchar

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T9 T34 T9 Win T5 3 T17

Guy has a great record in this event, even played well at Austin Country Club.

Paul Casey

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T51 T5 T17 2 2 T9 T5 T33 T33

Guy should of broken out way before now, he is very good in match play and has knocked on the door of victory several times.

Solid contenders

Jason Day

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
Win T52 Win 3 T17 T9

Thinking that it’s more of his health than the quality of his game, think he will at least make it to the weekend.

Francesco Molinari

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T34 T33 T33 T17 T33 T33

He has a terible record in this event never making it past the second round, but he is a much different player that should do well.

Hideki Matsuyama

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T18 T9 T17

Game has cooled down but he could still get hot and run the tables this week.

Patrick Reed

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T9 T17 T17

The guy is really good in match play.

Rafael Cabrera-Bello

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
3 T17 T33

Was the star last year, look for him to do it again.

Long shots that could come through:

Tommy Fleetwood

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T5

Played well in 2015 and has been one of the hottest players on tour.

Tyrrell Hatton

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
First time playing in this event

Guy has never played in this event but I think he will make it too the weekend.

Jon Rahm

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
First time playing in this event

Another first-timer to this event, watch him break out and play great.

Comments

  1. Who would you say will be in the final 4? Thanks.

  2. James,
    Not to sound like I am coping out, but doing these brackets is a losing proposition. Of course I think that Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson will make it, but after that it’s a real tough chore. If I was to take an educated guess I say Louis Oosthuizen and Sergio Garcia. Frankly if I get one of them I will be very happy.

  3. Hanseo K says:

    Do you think, in match play format, rather than stroke average of the course, you can set up some kind of up/down probablility of holes? For example, if some hole is difficult, then easily hole winner/loser can be decided; otherwise if some hole is easy like par 5, then hole win/lose is not much decided. Thus, some holes have a high tendency to win/lose break, others low tendency. What do you think?

  4. I like it but I can’t do this, I don’t get hole by hole scores and to compile this would be a nightmare. Nice idea but this is something that the PGA Tour, Golf Channel and NBC are the only ones that can achieve this, sorry.

  5. Hanseo K says:

    no worries, just asking your idea. thanks

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