Mythical Match Play championship: Round 2 results
March 26, 2020
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- March 26, 2020
Matches in World Golf Championships - Dell Technologies Match Play
The biggest Round 2 showdown in our Mythical World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play tournament? Gotta be world No. 1 Rory McIlroy vs. defending champ Kevin Kisner, who’s been near-unbeatable in the last two years at Austin Country Club.
There are plenty of other intriguing matchups on this day, including a couple of top-5 seeds suffering upsets.
To review, our Mythical event is the just-for-fun exercise we’re conducting this week in lieu of the real tournament, which was among the events canceled by the PGA TOUR in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The TOUR conducted a draw to produce a bracket, and now our 10 experts are voting for the winner of each match. We released the Round 1 results on Wednesday (click here) and now the results of the 32 matches that would’ve been played in Thursday’s Round 2. The 16 Group Stage winners will be determined on Friday, then we’ll vote for single-elimination matches this weekend to crown the Mythical champion on Sunday.
What would have this year's bracket looked like, you ask?— WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play (@DellMatchPlay) March 23, 2020
Here you go. pic.twitter.com/kJHmlUxJUZ
The voting rules are simple: Each expert was asked to pick a match winner, and the golfer with the majority of votes is the match winner. In the case of an equal split of votes, the match is considered tied.
Our 10 expert voters include: GolfBet’s Jason Sobel from The Action Network; GolfTV’s Jamie Kennedy; Tom Alter and Jim McCabe from PGA TOUR Communications; Fantasy Insider Rob Bolton; PGATOUR.COM writers Ben Everill, Sean Martin, Mike McAllister and Cameron Morfit; and a combined vote from the TOUR’s ShotLink team.
Here are the experts’ picks for Round 2 (each player’s seed is in parentheses).
Rory McIlroy (1) vs. Kevin Kisner (36): 8 votes for McIlroy, 2 votes for Kisner. McILROY wins.
Why we picked McIlroy: “McIlroy ranks second in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, Kisner has gone from 39th in 2017 to 129th this season in this category.” – ShotLink team
Gary Woodland (18) vs. Sung Kang (52): 7 votes for Woodland, 3 votes for Kang. WOODLAND wins.
Why I picked Woodland: “Woodland made it to the finals in this event, losing to Rory McIlroy at TPC Harding Park in 2015, and simply has too much firepower for Kang.” – Cameron Morfit
Group standings: McIlroy 2-0, Kisner 1-1, Woodland 1-1, Kang 0-2
Jon Rahm (2) vs. Chez Reavie (37): 10 votes for Rahm, 0 votes for Reavie. RAHM wins.
Why I picked Rahm: “At Whisper Rock, maybe I’d go with Chez, but Austin CC fits Rahm nicely.” – Jim McCabe
Bernd Wiesberger (26) vs. Tom Lewis (59): 7 votes for Wiesberger, 3 votes for Lewis. WIESBERGER wins.
Why I picked Wiesberger: “Since coming back from injury, Wiesberger has been on a tear. His all-round game is elite and while Lewis is extremely streaky, he won't hang this time.” – Jamie Kennedy
Group standings: Rahm 2-0, Wiesberger 2-0, Reavie 0-2, Lewis 0-2
Brooks Koepka (3) vs. Collin Morikawa (44): 7 votes for Morikawa, 3 votes for Koepka. MORIKAWA wins.
Why I picked Morikawa: “Koepka’s fought injury and rust and hasn’t been able to find his footing this season. Meanwhile, Morikawa is the TOUR’s Steady Eddie.” – Sean Martin
Abraham Ancer (29) vs. Shaun Norris (60): 10 votes for Ancer, 0 votes for Norris. ANCER wins.
Why I picked Ancer: “Stirring victory sets up pivotal match in Round 3 with Brooks Koepka.”- Jim McCabe
Group standings: Morikawa 2-0, Koepka 1-1, Ancer 1-1, Norris 0-2
Justin Thomas (4) vs. Erik van Rooyen (42): 8 votes for Thomas, 2 votes for van Rooyen. THOMAS wins.
Why I picked Thomas: “Van Rooyen can shred on guitar, but Thomas is the chalk pick here.” – Sean Martin
Paul Casey (24) vs. Viktor Hovland (57): 6 votes for Hovland, 4 votes for Casey. HOVLAND wins.
Why I picked Hovland: “You know I mean business when I expect a first-timer -- who just happens to flash the newest, best smile in the game -- to take down my man crush.” – Rob Bolton
Group standings: Thomas 2-0, Casey 1-1, Hovland 1-1, van Rooyen 0-2
Dustin Johnson (5) vs. Cameron Smith (35): 6 votes for Smith, 4 votes for Johnson. SMITH wins.
Why I picked Smith: “Smith has always been a match play stud waiting to burst forth. Coming from 3 down to beat Thomas in the Presidents Cup Singles shows his competitive fire in this format.” – Ben Everill
Hideki Matsuyama (22) vs. Keegan Bradley (62): 10 votes for Matsuyama, 0 votes for Bradley. MATSUYAMA wins.
Why I picked Matsuyama: “If there's a bugaboo in Matsuyama's game, it's that he isn't a terrific putter, but in match play, his tremendous ball-striking can overcome a lack of red numbers, which was the case in this one.” – Jason Sobel
Group standings: Matsuyama 2-0, Johnson 1-1, Smith 1-1, Bradley 0-2
Great escapes at WGC - Dell Technologies Match Play
Adam Scott (6) vs. Shugo Imahira (41): 10 votes for Scott, 0 votes for Imahira. SCOTT wins.
Why I picked Scott: “Scott’s match play record is one that has irked him over the years, but he’s riding high confidence after his win at The Genesis Invitational earlier this season.” – Ben Everill
Lee Westwood (31) vs. Jordan Spieth (56): 6 votes for Westwood, 4 votes for Spieth. WESTWOOD wins.
Why I picked Westwood: “Westwood has been playing with nothing to lose recently, just enjoying the back-nine of his career and competing with a smile on his face. It's amazing how much that can free up a guy, as he was still smiling when this one was over.” – Jason Sobel
Group standings: Scott 2-0, Westwood 2-0, Imahira 0-2, Spieth 0-2
Patrick Reed (7) vs. Rafa Cabrera Bello (46): 6 votes for Reed, 4 votes for Cabrera Bello. REED wins.
Why I picked Reed: “Despite how it looks at first glance, this is a virtual coin flip, but Reed's consistently strong form since relying on feel mid-2019 just might propel him to victory in his home state.” – Rob Bolton
Matthew Fitzpatrick (25) vs. Andrew Putnam (63): 9 votes for Fitzpatrick, 1 vote for Putnam. FITZPATRICK wins.
Why I picked Fitzpatrick: “Fitzpatrick’s in fine form, with six top-10s in his last 11 worldwide starts. Meanwhile, Putnam’s missed the cut in his last three PGA TOUR starts.” – Mike McAllister
Group standings: Reed 2-0, Cabrera Bello 1-1, Fitzpatrick 1-1, Putnam 0-2
Patrick Cantlay (8) vs. Sergio Garcia (38): 9 votes for Cantlay, 1 vote for Garcia. CANTLAY wins.
Why I picked Cantlay: “Cantlay is 29th in the FedExCup (seventh in the world) and does everything well, while Garcia is 179th in the FedExCup, recently turned 40, and has been quiet since winning the 2017 Masters.” – Cameron Morfit
Tyrrell Hatton (21) vs. Adam Hadwin (55): 5 votes for Hatton, 5 votes for Hadwin. TIED.
Why I picked Hadwin: “Still dealing with the API hangover -- a figurative one (we think) -- Hatton struggled with the ever-steady Hadwin, who simply didn't have any unforced errors in this match.” – Jason Sobel
Group standings: Cantlay 2-0, Hatton 1-0-1, Hadwin 0-1-1, Garcia 0-2
Webb Simpson (9) vs. Scottie Scheffler (45): 7 votes for Simpson, 3 votes for Scheffler. SIMPSON wins.
Why I picked Simpson: “Webb Simpson is on a roll. Hitting fairways and making putts always works in match play.” – Tom Alter
Rickie Fowler (27) vs. Lucas Herbert (64): 7 votes for Fowler, 3 votes for Herbert. FOWLER wins.
Why I picked Fowler: “After dismal start to his season, this is a massive week for him.” – Jim McCabe
Group standings: Simpson 2-0, Scheffler 1-1, Fowler 1-1, Herbert 0-2
Tommy Fleetwood (10) vs. Christiaan Bezuidenhout (47): 7 votes for Fleetwood, 3 votes for Bezuidenhout. FLEETWOOD wins.
Why I picked Fleetwood: “There was some thought that Bezuidenhout could be this year's Bjerregaard -- an impossible-to-spell non-PGA TOUR member who makes his mark in match play. Perhaps he still will, but Fleetwood's talent was too much to overcome here.” – Jason Sobel
Francesco Molinari (28) vs. Byeong Hun An (50): 8 votes for An, 2 votes for Molinari. AN wins.
Why I picked An: “Sadly, Francesco has been a shell of his best lately and still has some injury concerns while An has the Presidents Cup experience to draw from.” – Ben Everill
Group standings: Fleetwood 2-0, Bezuidenhout 1-1, An 1-1, Molinari 0-2
Tiger Woods (11) vs. Victor Perez (40): 8 votes for Woods, 2 votes for Perez. WOODS wins.
Why we picked Woods: “Tiger’s one of the best iron players ever, not to mention his 18 WGC wins, including three times in this event. Oh, and did we mention he’s been PGA TOUR Player of the Year 11 times, most of any player?” – ShotLink team
Kevin Na (30) vs. Phil Mickelson (61): 10 votes for Na, 0 votes for Mickelson. NA wins.
Why I picked Na: “Na makes tons of putts. That’s tough to beat.” – Tom Alter
Group standings: Woods 2-0, Na 2-0, Perez 0-2, Mickelson 0-2
Tiger Woods' 82-yard hole out for eagle at WGC-Dell Match Play
Xander Schauffele (12) vs. Danny Willett (33): 8 votes for Schauffele, 2 votes for Willett. SCHAUFFELE wins.
Why I picked Schauffele: “Danny Willett’s comeback story has been nice to see, but Schauffele is the clear favorite here.” – Sean Martin
Shane Lowry (20) vs. Jason Day (51): 6 votes for Day, 4 votes for Lowry. DAY wins.
Why I picked Day: “A two-time winner in this unique format, Jason Day is too much for almost anybody in match play.” – Tom Alter
Group standings: Schauffele 2-0, Lowry 1-1, Day 1-1, Willett 0-2
Bryson DeChambeau (13) vs. Jazz Janewattananond (39): 9 votes for DeChambeau, 1 vote for Janewattananond. DeCHAMBEAU wins.
Why I picked DeChambeau: “Just gotta love Bryson’s form right now (and I’m not just talking about the added muscle to his frame),” – Mike McAllister.
Henrik Stenson (32) vs Ian Poulter (58): 6 votes for Poulter, 4 votes for Stenson. POULTER wins.
Why I picked Poulter: “Putting prevails here. Stenson has potential to dominate tee-to-green but Poulter's edge comes on the greens and this gives him the edge in this match-up.” – Jamie Kennedy
Group standings: DeChambeau 2-0, Stenson 1-1, Poulter 1-1, Janewattananond 0-2
Justin Rose (14) vs. Matt Wallace (43): 5 votes for Rose, 5 votes for Wallace. TIED.
Why I picked Rose: “Two English players, two players battling their game somewhat early in 2020. Ask me in a couple of years and I'll take Wallace but for now, Rose wins this.” – Jamie Kennedy
Sungjae Im (23) vs. Bubba Watson (53): 8 votes for Im, 2 votes for Watson. IM wins.
Why I picked Im: “Bubba’s a wild card – he could get on a roll and run to the title, as he did in 2018. But I like Im’s steadiness.” – Mike McAllister
Group standings: Im 2-0, Watson 1-1, Rose 0-1-1, Wallace 0-1-1
Marc Leishman (15) vs. Billy Horschel (34): 8 votes for Leishman, 2 votes for Horschel. LEISHMAN wins.
Why we picked Leishman: “Currently seventh in the FEC standings and three consecutive trips to East Lake, not to mention on pace for his best season on TOUR.” – ShotLink team
Matt Kuchar (17) vs. Graeme McDowell (49): 6 votes for Kuchar, 4 votes for McDowell. KUCHAR wins.
Why I picked Kuchar: “GMac can be a tough out in match play, but Kuchar has too much good mojo in this event – he won it all in 2013 and was runner-up to Kevin Kisner last year.” – Cameron Morfit
Group standings: Leishman 2-0, Kuchar 2-0, Horschel 0-2, McDowell 0-2
Tony Finau (16) vs. Brandt Snedeker (48): 5 votes for Finau, 5 votes for Snedeker. TIED
Why I picked Snedeker: “After seeing Finau's dance vid with his wife, I'd like to use a Mulligan.” – Rob Bolton
Louis Oosthuizen (19) vs. Brendon Todd (54): 8 votes for Oosthuizen 2 votes for Todd. OOSTHUIZEN wins.
Why I picked Oosthuizen: “Todd may have been the man last fall, but Louis has match play acumen that cannot be denied.” – Ben Everill
Group standings: Finau 1-0-1, Oosthuizen 1-0-1, Snedeker 0-0-2, Todd 0-2