Scheffler among former champs looking for more success at Austin CC
3 Min Read
The madness of March bleeds onto the PGA TOUR as the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play brackets are filled out and ready to roll.
Many brackets have been busted at the Austin Country Club since this event moved here for the 2016 edition. Pete Dye's Texas design stretches to only 7,108 yards (par-71) but provides the humps, bumps, and risk-reward shots that fit this event and the match play format.
The 64 players entered this week are drawn into 16 groups of four. Job No. 1 is to win the round robin group play, as only top point-earner from each group will advance. The Round of 16 is a true knockout format: win and advance.
As Austin welcomes the event for the seventh time in eight years, it's fitting that the defending champion is a Texan. Scottie Scheffler (+800) has played this even twice in his career and Billy Horschel (+6600) is the only player to defeat him in this event during the knockout phase. Speaking of Horschel, the 2021 winner returned last year and won his group for the second consecutive season. Pete Dye has had Horschel's number in Florida, but his ability to grind and hole putts in Texas has shined recently.
Last year Scheffler exacted his revenge on Horschel by sending him home in the Round of 16. The list of names Scheffler has taken down in just the past two seasons? Former champions Jason Day, Matt Kuchar and Horschel, plus Ryder Cup stars Jon Rahm and Matt Fitzpatrick.
Knocked out in last year's final by Scheffler, 2019 champ Kevin Kisner (+12500) picked up his second runner-up medal in the last four editions. He was looking to join a very exclusive list of multiple champions in this event, which began in 1999. It's no secret that Bermuda is his preferred surface and he prefers tracks where length doesn't matter. With a win and two seconds in his last four he can't be ignored this week at this venue.
Major champion Jason Day (+3300) is the only player not named Tiger Woods to have his name on this trophy twice. The Australian won the last edition at Dove Mountain in Arizona and then picked up his second victory in the inaugural edition at ACC in 2016. When healthy – and there's nothing in his recent play to suggest he's not – his ability to get up and down and hole putts translates well in this format.
Similarly to Day, Matt Kuchar (+8000) has found success in this format regardless of which state it is played. The 2013 winner at Dove Mountain has painted the top 10 in four of his five visits in Austin. The crafty veteran was beaten by another plodder, Kisner, in the final in 2019. Last year he pushed eventual champion Scheffler to the final hole in the semis before winning the consolation match.
(events/cuts made, odds)
|Groups||Odds||Starts at ACC||Notes/Best|
|Scottie Scheffler (1)||+800||2||Won last year, 2nd on debut 2021.|
|Tom Kim (17)||+4500||0||First appearance.|
|Alex Noren (38)||+8000||4||Lost in Semis (Kisner) 2018; QF 2017.|
|Davis Riley (54)||+10000||0||First appearance.|
|Jon Rahm (2)||+1100||5||Lost final on debut 2017 (Johnson); T9 2022 (Koepka), T5 2021 (Scheffler).|
|Billy Horschel (22)||+6600||4||Win 2021, Sweet 16 loss in defense, best 2 last 2,|
|Keith Mitchell (39)||+5000||2||T26 best.|
|Rickie Fowler (49)||+5000||1||Last visit 2016.|
|Rory McIlroy (3)||+1200||5||Lost 3rd place 2016; 1 Sweet 16 since.|
|Keegan Bradley (20)||+5500||3||Never advanced out of the group.|
|Denny McCarthy (48)||+8000||0||First appearance.|
|Scott Stallings (52)||+20000||0||First appearance in Austin.|
|Patrick Cantlay (4)||+2000||4||2018 debut T17 best. Never won his group.|
|Brian Harman (25)||+8000||3||Won his group on debut 2018; Lost in QF 2021.|
|K.H. Lee (35)||+15000||0||First appearance.|
|Nick Taylor (55)||+12500||0||First appearance.|
|Max Homa (5)||+1600||2||Won three matches from six but never won his group.|
|Hideki Matsuyama (18)||+5000||5||Never won his group.|
|Kevin Kisner (42)||+12500||6||2019 WINNER; 2nd 2022; 2nd 2018,|
|Justin Suh (63)||+10000||0||First appearance.|
|Xander Schauffele (6)||+2200||4||Never has won his group.|
|Tom Hoge (23)||+6600||1||0-2-1 debut 2022.|
|Aaron Wise (40)||+10000||1||Lost to Woods, Cantlay and beat Snedeker 2019.|
|Cam Davis (64)||+12500||0||First appearance.|
|Will Zalatoris (7)||+3300||2||Knocked out in 2022 QF by Kisner.|
|Ryan Fox (29)||+10000||0||First appearance.|
|Harris English (37)||+10000||1||1 win, 2 losses 2021.|
|Andrew Putnam (56)||+15000||1||1 win, 2 losses 2019.|
|Viktor Hovland (8)||+2200||2||3 wins, 3 losses last two years.|
|Chris Kirk (28)||+6600||1||QF loss 2016.|
|Si Woo Kim (34)||+6600||5||Won his group in 2018 (T9).|
|Matt Kuchar (59)||+8000||5||3rd 2021, 2nd 2019, T9 2018.|
|Collin Morikawa (9)||+2200||2||Won his group last year (T9). 0-2-1 debut 2021.|
|Jason Day (32)||+3300||5||Won the first edition here, last edition in Arizona in 2014.|
|Adam Svensson (44)||+12500||0||First appearance.|
|Victor Perez (51)||+12500||1||2021 defeated semifinalist (Horschel, Kuchar); 4th place.|
|Tony Finau (10)||+2200||4||Never won his group.|
|Kurt Kitayama (19)||+8000||0||First appearance.|
|Adrian Meronk (45)||+12500||0||First appearance.|
|Christiaan Bezuidenhout (60)||+12500||2||6 matches, 5 losses, 1 draw.|
|Matt Fitzpatrick (11)||+4000||6||Never won his group.|
|Sahith Theegala (26)||+6600||0||First appearance.|
|Min Woo Lee (41)||+6600||1||2022 1-1-1.|
|J.J. Spaun (61)||+15000||0||First appearance.|
|Jordan Spieth (12)||+2200||6||Round of 16 twice.|
|Shane Lowry (21)||+5000||5||Never won his group.|
|Taylor Montgomery (47)||+8000||0||First appearance.|
|Mackenzie Hughes (50)||+15000||2||Won group on debut 2021; 4-2-1 in seven matches.|
|Sam Burns (13)||+3500||0||First appearance.|
|Seamus Power (30)||+8000||1||2022 Beat Sungjae Im, Patrick Cantlay and Tyrrell Hatton before QF loss to Scheffler.|
|Adam Scott (33)||+8000||2||Won group 2022 beating Spieth, Rose on the way. Lost Round of 16 (Kisner).|
|Adam Hadwin (53)||+8000||1||2018 T17 as he went 1-0-2 but didn't advance.|
|Tyrrell Hatton (14)||+2500||5||Won his group three times. Never advance past the Round of 16.|
|Russell Henley (31)||+8000||3||Best result is T28.|
|Lucas Herbert (46)||+15000||1||2022 beat Finau and Schauffele but didn't advance at 2-1.|
|Ben Griffin (62)||+15000||0||First appearance.|
|Cameron Young (15)||+3300||1||1-2 on debut 2022 (beat Reed).|
|Sepp Straka (27)||+15000||1||1-2 on debut 2022 (beat Zalatoris).|
|Corey Conners (36)||+5500||2||Lost all 3 matches on 2021 debut. Won every match besides the semfinal last year for 3rd.|
|Davis Thompson (57)||+20000||0||First appearance.|
|Sungjae Im (16)||+3300||2||Never won his group. 2 wins against 4 losses.|
|Tommy Fleetwood (24)||+4500||5||Won his group in 2021 before losing QF (Horschel).|
|J.T. Poston (43)||+12500||1||2021 tied Morikawa, beat eventual champ Horschel, lost to Homa. Did not win group.|
|Maverick McNealy (58)||+10000||1||2022 was 2-0-1 but didn't advance.|
On the line this week is a prize pool of $20 million with the winner receiving $3.6 million plus 550 FedExCup points. The field of 64 has been split into 16 groups of four players. The winner of each group at the conclusion of the round robin play will advance to the knockout stage (Round of 16) which begins Saturday.
In the group stage players will receive 1 point for winning their match, a half-point for tying their match and zero points for losing. If tied after three matches, a sudden-death playoff will be used to break the tie to determine who advances. In the knockout rounds, extra holes will be used to determine who wins and advances to the next round.
-Odds courtesy of BETMGM.COM-
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