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Power Rankings: WGC-Dell Match Play

4 Min Read

Power Rankings

    If you want a Fairleigh Dickinson or a Princeton in your professional golf, you got it! In fact, how many can you handle?

    So goes this reality at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play where the difference in top seeds and their opponents isn’t similar to the same in college basketball, and where most upsets are justified only in the context of the seeds. Because, you know, golf.

    The golfers in this Power Rankings are segregated into three parts. All 16 represent the golfers I have surviving the Group Stage. Nos. 16-9 are ranked by confidence among the losers in the first round of the Knockout Stage. Nos. 8-5 are slotted similarly among those I have getting dispatched in the quarterfinals. Finally, Nos. 4-1 reflect my loser of the consolation through the champion.

    A brief history of the tournament at Austin Country Club, the layout and more can be found below.


    Because the Corales Puntacana Championship contributes to PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, the Golfbet Insider will focus primarily on it, but other relevant notes on the Match Play will be included. Refer to my writing schedule below for this week’s agenda.

    This is the seventh and final edition of the Match Play at Austin CC. It’s been a fun and proper stage for the tournament. Fittingly, nothing has changed on the par 71 that tips at just 7,108 yards. The TifEagle bermuda greens are overseeded and prepped to touch 12 feet on the Stimpmeter. The only rough is two inches tall.

    The tournament starts on Wednesday and extends through Sunday. Each of the 64 golfers in the field is guaranteed three matches during the Group Stage. Matches square at the conclusion of 18 holes are recorded as ties. Golfers with the best records after three matches advance to the Knockout Stage. If any records are tied, a playoff will determine who moves on.

    FedExCup points and earnings are based on overall record in the Group Stage, so even though one golfer with a record of 2-0-1 who is eliminated in a playoff suffers the same ultimate fate as a golfer who goes 0-3-0, they will be credited with values commensurate to their record.

    A strong competitive balance in professional golf has been a constant for years, so it still doesn’t present as a surprise that, just two years ago, Jon Rahm was the only top seed to survive the Group Stage. He eventually finished T5. So, it’s arguably more surprising that half of the 16 top seeds last year emerged from the Group Stage. Four from seeds 17-32 advanced – all from the same quadrant of the bracket, in fact – as did two each from seeds 33-48 and 49-64.

    In the first six years of the tournament at Austin CC, top seeds still have performed the best in the Group Stage. Of the aggregate 96 over time, one-third (32) survived. Nos. 17-32, 33-48 and 49-64 yielded 24, 19 and 21 survivors, respectfully. The takeaway is that the best are still the best, but that the quality of the lower 48 is exponentially more likely to challenge for the title than the same in basketball.

    Once again, the Dell Technologies Bracket Challenge gives you the opportunity to guess right. Users of PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf are linked to it, but if you’re not, simply register. It’s free to play. One winner will be treated to a VIP Prize Package. Details of that and everything else you need are on the interface. My bracket will be uploaded to the AUTOPICK page.

    Not that there aren’t enough variables to consider but Mother Nature has taken her seat at the table, too. Quintessential winds of Texas will howl during the first two days, and then again at times into the weekend. An increasing threat for inclement weather arrives on Thursday and stretches into Friday. Daytime highs should eclipse 80 throughout. The positive spin to the elements is that, because of the format, all golfers are playing their only competition in identical conditions.

    Among many perks, the champion will be rewarded with 550 FedExCup points, $3.5 million and membership status through at least 2026.


    ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE’s Rob Bolton recaps and previews every tournament from numerous perspectives. Look for his following contributions as scheduled.

    MONDAY: Power Rankings (Match Play)

    TUESDAY*: Sleepers (Match Play), Power Rankings (Corales), Golfbet Insider

    FRIDAY: Medical Extensions

    SUNDAY: Payouts and Points, Qualifiers, Reshuffle

    * - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes on Tuesday.

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