You can call it a Masters warmup or peek at the PGA Championship if you wish. But the Dell Match Play stop on the PGA Tour schedule has turned into a big event as have all of the World Golf Championship (WGC) tournaments. The Dell has the feel of a Major but with a select group of players. Topping that list is Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson both at +1000.

Both McIlroy and Johnson are past winners of the Austin, Texas event. Johnson won in 2017 and McIlroy won the event in 2015. The difference is that McIlroy’s win came before the tournament moved from San Fransico to Texas where it’s been played since 2016. Here are the top-five favored players according to oddsmakers at Intertops.


Golf Glance: WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play


 

 

Rory McIlroy+1000
Dustin Johnson+1000
Justin Thomas+1400
Jon Rahm+1800
Justin Rose+2000

 

The name missing from the above list is last years Dell Champion Bubba Watson who is listed well below the favorites at +3300. Watson is coming off an impressive run for the win last week at the Valspar but said he’s not a big fan of Match Play events.

“I vote every year not to have Match Play because I feel like I have a better chance in 72 holes than I do in individual (matches),” Watson said at Innisbrook. “Because we have seen every year a guy shoot in the 60s and lose, and then we see a guy shoot in the 70s and win. And it’s like, wait a second, how fair is this?”


Woods to open Match Play against rookie of year


In case you didn’t know, the format is a seeded one that can be compared to a “round robin” tournament where players are seeded in groups. Watson is a 15 seed which makes him the top player in his group. Speaking of which, onto the groupings! 

Dell Match Play Groupings

The Dell Match Play groups are highlighted by the top-sixteen seeded players according to their rank on the Official World Golf Rankings. That player is the first player listed in each group. Then, the remaining three players for each group are randomly filled in using numbered ping-pong balls. 

•    No. 1 Dustin Johnson, No. 24 Hideki Matsuyama, No. 40 Branden Grace, No. 55 Chez Reavie
•    No. 2 Justin Rose, No. 22 Gary Woodland, No. 34 Eddie Pepperell, No. 53 Emiliano Grillo
•    No. 3 Brooks Koepka, 27 Alex Noren, 36 Haotong Li, No. 60 Tom Lewis
•    No. 4 Rory McIlroy, No. 32 Matthew Fitzpatrick, No. 47 Justin Harding, No. 64 Luke List
•    No. 5 Justin Thomas, No. 31 Keegan Bradley, No. 33 Matt Wallace, No. 50 Lucas Bjerregaard
•    No. 6 Bryson DeChambeau, No. 17 Marc Leishman, No. 39 Kiradech Aphibarnrat, No. 59 Russell Knox
•    No. 7 Francesco Molinari, No. 21 Webb Simpson, No. 45 Thorbjorn Olesen, No. 63 Satoshi Kodaira
•    No. 8 Jon Rahm, No. 23 Matt Kuchar, No. 43 J.B. Holmes, No. 54 Si Woo Kim
•    No. 9 Xander Schauffele, No. 29 Rafa Cabrera-Bello, No. 35 Tyrrell Hatton, No. 62 Lee Westwood
•    No. 10 Paul Casey, No. 25 Cameron Smith, No. 42 Charles Howell III, No. Abraham Ancer
•    No. 11 Tommy Fleetwood, No. 19 Louis Oosthuizen, No. 41 Kyle Stanley, No. 49 Byeong Hun An
•    No. 12 Jason Day, No. 20 Phil Mickelson, No. 37 Henrik Stenson, No. 52 Jim Furyk
•    No. 13 Tiger Woods, No. 18 Patrick Cantlay, No. 44 Brandt Snedeker, No. 61 Aaron Wise
•    No. 14 Tony Finau, No. 30 Ian Poulter, No. 48 Kevin Kisner, No. 56 Keith Mitchell
•    No. 15 Bubba Watson, No. 28 Jordan Spieth, No. 38 Billy Horschel, No.
•    No. 16 Patrick Reed, No. 26 Sergio Garcia, No. 46 Shane Lowry, No. 51 Andrew Putnam

Past Winners a Factor?

Tiger Woods leads the list of past winners of this event with three. However, all of them came before the event moved to Austin. If you are a person that factors in past wins at an event then this one will be tricky! It’s been played in four different states and two different countries. The 2001 tournament was played in Australia and the events in Arizona from 2007 to 2014 were split between two different courses. Here’s how the past winner's list looks with city and year. 

 

2018Bubba WatsonAustin, TX
2017Dustin JohnsonAustin, TX
2016Jason Day (2)Austin, TX
2015Rory McIlroySan Fransico, CA
2014Jason DayMarana, AZ
2013Matt KucharMarana, AZ
2012Hunter MahanMarana, AZ
2011Luke DonaldMarana, AZ
2010Ian PoulterMarana, AZ
2009Geoff Ogilvy (2)Marana, AZ
2008Tiger Woods (3)Marana, AZ
2007Henrik StensonMarana, AZ
2006Geoff OgilvyCarlsbad, CA
2005David TomsCarlsbad, CA
2004Tiger Woods (2)Carlsbad, CA
2003Tiger WoodsCarlsbad, CA
2002Kevin SutherlandCarlsbad, CA
2001Steve StrickerVictoria Australia
2000Darren ClarkeCarlsbad, CA
1999Jeff MaggertCarlsbad, CA

 

Austin Country Club by the Numbers

The Austin Country Club is located in Austin, Texas and is considered one of the premier courses in the state. The original club was founded in the 1800s but has moved three times with the current location being used since 1984. The course was designed by Pete Dye and has been updated a few times since it originally opened.

The course is everything you can imagine when it comes to combining the layout of a wild west movie set, complete with canyons and cliffs, with a perfectly manicured golf course. Several holes play over gullies and canyons filled with wild scrub plants. Beautiful grass off the tee, deep canyon, beautiful grass in the distant landing zones.


 


Then, switch play to gently rolling terrain as you would find at any high-end course, then switch to tight fairways lined by ponds and the waters of Lake Austin. Dye has managed to work just about every conceivable hazard into his design without making the course unplayable. In fact, the setting is mostly a mind game as the visual of hitting over a canyon may get under the skin of weekend players. But PGA Pros should not have a problem. Mid-irons and approach shots that stick on greens will be a key factor.

Founded: 1899, Modern Course Location 1984
Designer: Pete Dye
Yardage: 7,108
Par: 72
Rating: 75.2
Slope: 152
Greens: Bermuda
Fairways: Bent Grass, Bermuda

TV Coverage for 2019 Dell Match Play

•    Wednesday: PGA Tour Live (10:15 a.m.-8 p.m.); Golf Channel (2-8 p.m.)
•    Thursday: PGA Tour Live (10:15 a.m.-8 p.m.); Golf Channel (2-8 p.m.)
•    Friday: PGA Tour Live (10:15 a.m.-8 p.m.); Golf Channel (2-8 p.m.)
•    Saturday: Round of 16, Golf Channel and PGA Tour Live (10 a.m.-2 p.m.)
•    Saturday: Quarterfinals, NBC (2-6 p.m.)
•    Sunday: Semifinals, Golf Channel (10 a.m.-2 p.m.)
•    Sunday: Championship and Consolation Matches, NBC (3-7 p.m.)

Remaining odds for 2019 WGC Dell Match Play

Odds for the remaining players not listed above.

 

Tommy Fleetwood+2200
Jason Day+2200
Brooks Koepka+2200
Paul Casey+2500
Bryson DeChambeau+2500
Tiger Woods+2500
Francesco Molinari+2500
Bubba Watson+3300
Xander Schauffele+3300
Tony Finau+3300
Ian Poulter+3300
Patrick Reed+3500
Hideki Matsuyama+4000
Sergio Garcia+4000
Louis Oosthuizen+4000
Marc Leishman+4000
Patrick Cantlay+5000
Matt Kuchar+5000
Webb Simpson+5000
Jordan Spieth+5000
Gary Woodland+5000
Cameron Smith+5000
Henrik Stenson+5500
Rafael Cabrera Bello+6600
Phil Mickelson+6600
Keegan Bradley+6600
Kevin Kisner+6600
Billy Horschel+6600
Matthew Fitzpatrick+6600
Matt Wallace+7500
Byeong-Hun An+7500
Brandt Snedeker+8000
Charles Howell III+8000
Alex Noren+10000
Branden Grace+10000
Eddie Pepperell+10000
Keith Mitchell+10000
Tyrrell Hatton+10000
HaoTong Li+10000
Jim Furyk+10000
Kiradech Aphibarnrat+10000
Luke List+10000
Lee Westwood+10000
Russell Knox+12500
Si-Woo Kim+12500
J.B. Holmes+12500
Shane Lowry+12500
Abraham Ancer+12500
Lucas Bjerregaard+12500
Emiliano Grillo+12500
Thorbjorn Olesen+15000
Aaron Wise+15000
Justin Harding+15000
Kevin Na+15000
Chez Reavie+17500
Kyle Stanley+20000
Andrew Putnam+20000
Tom Lewis+20000
Satoshi Kodaira+25000

 

 

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