This week we have the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. This is a 5-day event, starting Wednesday (US time) as opposed to the usual Thursday tee-off.
The extra day allows for an initial round-robin group format, followed by the Round of 16 and Quarter-Finals (both played on Saturday), then the Semi-Finals and the Final (both on Sunday). The winner will have to play seven rounds in five days.
But despite its unusual set-up, the tournament always attracts a very strong line-up with most, but not quite all, of the world’s top players making a beeline for Texas this week.
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
One of the four annual WGC (World Golf Championship) events, this tournament is pitched just below the level of a Major. But what separates this event from other WGC and Major tournaments is that its format is Match Play – where individual players compete with each other over 18 holes (like we see on the final day of the Ryder Cup). First played in 1999, it used to be straight knock-out, with 64 players competing over five sudden-death rounds – winner progresses, loser goes home – to determine the two finalists. Now the players begin in 16 groups of four players, they all play against each other, and the group winner then goes through to the last 16 (basically to give all the players more golf… and, the cynics would say, for the better players to stand more of a chance of winning).
Prize money $12m ($1.82 to the winner)
Highest-ranked OWGR players in field: Rahm (1), Morikawa (2), Cantlay (3), Hovland (4), Scheffler (5), Thomas (7), Schauffele (9), Johnson (11), DeChambeau (13).
1st Billy Horschel ($8.1)
2nd Scottie Scheffler ($46)
3rd Matt Kuchar ($126)
4th Victor Perez ($101)
Losing QFs: Rahm, Fleetwood, Garcia, Harman.
The tournament is held over five days at the Austin Country Club. The facility, situated on the edge of Lake Austin, was opened in 1980 and designed by Pete Dye. It’s not a long course at 7,043 yards and it sets up as a par 71 (but this makes no great difference in match play) and has plenty of good scoring holes – all adding extra drama to this week’s format.
A dry week is forecast with a daily precipitation forecast of 0%-0%-0%-0%-0% over the course of the tournament. Temperatures will be in the low-to-mid 20’s and only limited cloud cover during the week. Winds will be light.
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Value Bets
Brooks Koepka: $44 with TopSport
Shane Lowry: $31 with TopSport
Rather than give individual player notes for this event, the Golf Insider says:
“Despite enjoying success in this event in the past, I’m still not a huge fan of match play as the highly unpredictable nature of the format, plus the questionable motivation and aptitude of some players, makes true value very hard to assess. However, I’ve backed players this week who I feel are capable of winning, and so warrant a small investment – and I mean small!
I‘m well aware that match play and strokeplay are two entirely different entities… and experience in this event, and Ryder Cups and the Presidents Cup, is important to locating the winner. I won’t give masses of explanation for each individual selection because as I’ve already mentioned I’m primarily backing these players due to their form/price/experience, and there’s not much more to add in terms of reasoning. Worth noting as well that I’m backing two players in the same group (Koepka/Lowry), so for me it’s half stakes on each.”
The Golf Insider is a GUN. Look at these winners, all since the start of 2020...
Martin Laird $201, Rasmus Hojgaard $151, Mark Hubbard $126, Marc Warren $101, Sam Burns $67, Tyrell Hatton $51, Peter Malnati $46, John Catlin $46, Talor Gooch $41, Harold Varner $36, Harris English $34, Robert Macintyre $31, Adri Arnaus $26, Connor Syme $26, Scott Jamieson $24, JB Holmes $21, Seamus Power $21, Dustin Johnson $21GET INVOLVED HERE