Mythical Match Play championship: Round 3 results
March 27, 2020
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- March 27, 2020
Top-10 shots from Austin Country Club at WGC – Dell Match Play
It’s the final day of the group stage of our Mythical Match Play Championship, with 16 survivors moving on the single-elimination phase. Does Tiger move on? Does Rory break a sweat? Who wins the Battle of Moliwood?
To review, our Mythical event is the just-for-fun exercise we’re conducting this week in lieu of the real tournament, the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, which was among the canceled events 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), the Round 2 results on Thursday (click here) and now the results of the final 32 group-stage matches that would’ve been played in Friday’s Round 3.
With the 16 group-stage winners now determined, 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 3 (each player’s seed is in parentheses). The Round of 16 matchups are at the bottom of this file:
Rory McIlroy (1) vs. Gary Woodland (18): 9 votes for McIlroy, 1 vote for Woodland. McILROY wins.
Why I picked McIlroy: “Wait ... we're asking why McIlroy over Woodland? No offense to the reigning U.S. Open champion, but here's my rationale on this one: Because he's Rory Freakin' McIlroy, that's why.” – Jason Sobel
Kevin Kisner (36) vs. Sung Kang (52): 8 votes for Kisner, 2 votes for Kang. KISNER wins.
Why I picked Kisner: “Two very streaky players but with Austin Country Club hard and fast layout, Kiz gets the nod here. Not long, but straight and elite on the greens.” – Jamie Kennedy
Final group standings: McIlroy 3-0, Kisner 2-1, Woodland 1-2, Kang 0-3. McILROY wins group.
Jon Rahm (2) vs. Bernd Wiesberger (26): 8 votes for Rahm, 2 votes for Wiesberger. RAHM wins.
Why I picked Rahm: “Rahm has a T3 in his last PGA TOUR appearance (WGC-Mexico Championship) and five top-20s in five starts this season, making the 2017 runner-up to Dustin Johnson the clear favorite.” – Cameron Morfit
Chez Reavie (37) vs. Tom Lewis (59): 6 votes for Reavie, 4 votes for Lewis. REAVIE wins.
Why I picked Reavie: “This wasn't supposed to be a lame-duck match (as I had Reavie taking down the unproven Wiesberger on U.S. soil on Wednesday), but Lewis' game also has yet to translate on the PGA TOUR.” – Rob Bolton
Final group standings: Rahm 3-0, Wiesberger 2-1, Reavie 1-2, Lewis 0-3. RAHM wins group.
Brooks Koepka (3) vs. Abraham Ancer (29): 6 votes for Ancer, 4 votes for Koepka. ANCER wins.
Why I picked Ancer: “This one has all the makings of a David v. Goliath matchup, as Koepka would've undoubtedly been looking ahead to the year's first major, while Ancer loves playing the role of giant killer.” – Jason Sobel
Collin Morikawa (44) vs. Shaun Norris (60): 10 votes for Morikawa, 0 votes for Norris. MORIKAWA wins.
Why I picked Morikawa: “I’m big on Morikawa and I think Austin CC is a good venue for him. Just like Kisner, who won here last year and was runner-up in 2018, I thought Morikawa could ride his strong iron play to success in Austin.” – Sean Martin
Final group standings: Morikawa 3-0, Ancer 2-1, Koepka 1-2, Norris 0-3. MORIKAWA wins group.
Justin Thomas (4) vs. Paul Casey (24): 5 votes for Casey, 5 votes for Thomas. TIED.
Why we picked Thomas: “This season, Thomas has the better performance in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green than Casey (+0.932 to +0.905) and Thomas has averaged over six feet closer than Casey on approach shots between 150 to 175 yards (24 feet, 3 inches to 30 feet, 6 inches).” – ShotLink team
Erik van Rooyen (42) vs. Viktor Hovland (57): 6 votes for Hovland, 4 votes for van Rooyen. HOVLAND wins.
Why I picked Hovland: “I’m big on the young star and I think his great driving and iron play are enough to win this match.” – Sean Martin
Final group standings: Thomas 2-0-1, Hovland 2-1, Casey 1-1-1, van Rooyen 0-3. THOMAS wins group.
Dustin Johnson (5) vs. Hideki Matsuyama (22): 6 votes for Matsuyama, 4 votes for Johnson. MATSUYAMA wins.
Why I picked Matsuyama: “This is one the sharps would've loved -- an upward-trending ball-striker against a big name who's struggled a bit recently. At even-money or higher, Hideki would've been the smart play.” – Jason Sobel
Cameron Smith (35) vs. Keegan Bradley (62): 8 votes for Smith, 2 votes for Bradley. SMITH wins.
Why I picked Smith: “Cam Smith is still riding the wave from his first Presidents Cup appearance and Sony victory.” – Tom Alter
Final group standings: Matsuyama 3-0, Smith 2-1, Johnson 1-2, Bradley 0-3. MATSUYAMA wins group.
Adam Scott (6) vs. Lee Westwood (31): 8 votes for Scott, 2 votes for Westwood. SCOTT wins.
Why I picked Scott: “Seeing what length of putt was conceded in this contest would be fascinating as both have been known to miss short ones in match play, but Scott’s resurgence has been greater than Westy’s of late.” – Ben Everill
Shugo Imahira (41) vs. Jordan Spieth (56): 10 votes for Spieth, 0 votes for Imahira. SPIETH wins.
Why I picked Spieth: “Spieth finally puts it all together in front of his Longhorn fans. Alas, too late to advance to the weekend.” – Mike McAllister
Final group standings: Scott 3-0, Westwood 2-1, Spieth 1-2, Imahira 0-3. SCOTT wins group.
Great escapes at WGC - Dell Technologies Match Play
Patrick Reed (7) vs. Matthew Fitzpatrick (25): 7 votes for Reed, 3 votes for Fitzpatrick. REED wins.
Why we picked Reed: “This season, Patrick Reed ranks second in one-putt percentage, 102 positions better than Matthew Fitzpatrick (104th).” – ShotLink team
Rafa Cabrera Bello (46) vs. Andrew Putnam (63): 10 votes for Cabrera Bello, 0 votes for Putnam. CABRERA BELLO wins.
Why I picked Cabrera Bello: “New dad Cabrera Bello took some time off recently, but RCB already looked like he was returning to form at THE PLAYERS Championship (first-round 68).” – Cameron Morfit
Final group standings: Reed 3-0, Cabrera Bello 2-1, Fitzpatrick 1-2, Putnam 0-3. REED wins group.
Patrick Cantlay (8) vs. Tyrrell Hatton (21): 6 votes for Cantlay, 4 votes for Hatton. CANTLAY wins.
Why I picked Cantlay: “While Hatton has form from his tremendous win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, Cantlay just seems like the type of player that could send the Englishman into a meltdown with his deliberate and robotic play.” – Ben Everill
Sergio Garcia (38) vs. Adam Hadwin (55): 6 votes for Hadwin, 4 votes for Garcia. HADWIN wins.
Why I picked Hadwin: “Each went undefeated in pool play last time they were both in the field, in 2018, but Hadwin’s current form (FedExCup No. 38) lifts him in a squeaker over Garcia (179).” – Cameron Morfit
Final group standings: Cantlay 3-0, Hatton 1-1-1, Hadwin 1-1-1, Garcia 0-3. CANTLAY wins group.
Webb Simpson (9) vs. Rickie Fowler (27): 10 votes for Simpson, 0 votes for Fowler. SIMPSON wins.
Why I picked Simpson: “Not that Simpson isn't a force no matter the opponent, but Fowler's work to modify his swing is occurring at the right time for Simpson to advance easily.” – Rob Bolton
Scottie Scheffler (45) vs. Lucas Herbert (64): 8 votes for Scheffler, 2 votes for Herbert. SCHEFFLER wins.
Why I picked Scheffler: “Solid run continues, giving UT fans plenty to hoot and holler about.” – Jim McCabe
Final group standings: Simpson 3-0, Scheffler 2-1, Fowler 1-2, Herbert 0-3. SIMPSON wins group.
Tommy Fleetwood (10) vs. Francesco Molinari (28): 10 votes for Fleetwood, 0 votes for Molinari. FLEETWOOD wins.
Why I picked Fleetwood: “Arguably the greatest match play pairing of all-time, the two halves of Moliwood duel it out. Sadly they forms are going in very different directions. Tommy takes this.” – Jamie Kennedy
Christiaan Bezuidenhout (47) vs. Byeong Hun An (50): 7 votes for An, 3 votes Bezuidenhout. AN wins.
Why I picked An: “Outstanding ball-striker, An wears down unheralded South African.” – Jim McCabe
Final group standings: Fleetwood 3-0, An 2-1, Bezuidenhout 1-2, Molinari 0-3. FLEETWOOD wins group.
Tiger Woods (11) vs. Kevin Na (30): 6 votes for Woods, 4 votes for Na. WOODS wins.
Why I picked Woods: “In a perfect world, they'd chase in every putt and thrill the crowd during a match that would go all 18 holes, but c'mon, Woods is the man atop Mount Olympus.” – Rob Bolton
Victor Perez (40) vs. Phil Mickelson (61): 6 votes for Mickelson, 4 votes for Perez. MICKELSON wins.
Why I picked Mickelson: “Risk-reward holes are plentiful, which plays into Lefty’s match-play game.” – Jim McCabe
Final group standings: Woods 3-0, Na 2-1, Mickelson 1-2, Perez 0-3. WOODS wins group.
Xander Schauffele (12) vs. Shane Lowry (20): 6 votes for Schauffele, 4 votes for Lowry. SCHAUFFELE wins.
Why I picked Schauffele: “The X-Man had always been a player I admired and then I saw him virtually assassinate Adam Scott in Sunday Singles at The Presidents Cup when he noticed a small window of opportunity and smashed his way through it.” – Ben Everill
Danny Willett (33) vs. Jason Day (51): 6 votes for Day, 4 votes for Willett. DAY wins.
Why we picked Day: “Jason Day has two wins in nine starts at this event (2014 & 2016) and Danny Willett’s best finish in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is third in 2015. Day can provide some additional pressure on Willett around the greens at Austin Country Club. Day has improved 99 positions in his SG: Around-the-Green ranks over the last two seasons (2018-19: 100th to 2019-20: 1st).” – ShotLink team
Final group standings: Schauffele 3-0, Day 2-1, Lowry 1-2, Willett 0-3. SCHAUFFELE wins group.
Matches in World Golf Championships - Dell Technologies Match Play
Bryson DeChambeau (13) vs. Henrik Stenson (32): 6 votes for Stenson, 4 votes for DeChambeau. STENSON wins.
Why I picked Stenson: “In possibly the best-played match of the day, Stenson rallies on the back nine for the win to force a three-way tie.” – Mike McAllister
Jazz Janewattananond (39) vs Ian Poulter (58): 10 votes for Poulter, 0 votes for Janewattananond. POULTER wins.
Why I picked Poulter: “A match play rookie versus a player who's built a career on the format. Jazz may have a future in WGC events but he's not taking down the Postman. Point Poulter.” – Jamie Kennedy
Final group standings: Poulter 2-1, DeChambeau 2-1, Stenson 2-1, Janewattananond 0-3. Three-way tiebreaker determined by total three-match vote count: 20 votes for Poulter, 19 votes for DeChambeau, 18 votes for Stenson. POULTER wins group.
Justin Rose (14) vs. Sungjae Im (23): 8 votes for Im, 2 votes for Rose. IM wins.
Why I picked Im: “Same reason why I liked Im over Wallace on Wednesday -- the South Korean has been soaring, while Rose limped in.” – Rob Bolton
Matt Wallace (43) vs. Bubba Watson (53): 5 votes for Wallace, 5 votes for Watson. TIED.
Why I picked Watson: “Austin CC rewards long hitters with a great touch; no wonder Bubba Watson wins there.” – Tom Alter
Final group standings: Im 3-0, Watson 1-1-1, Wallace 0-1-2, Rose 0-2-1. IM wins group.
Marc Leishman (15) vs. Matt Kuchar (17): 7 votes for Leishman, 3 votes for Kuchar. LEISHMAN wins.
Why I picked Leishman: “They both have good histories at Austin CC – Kuchar was last year’s runner-up – but I’m going to give the edge to Leishman, who’s having a fantastic season and is seventh in the FedExCup. Leishman has made the Sweet 16 in two of the past three seasons.” – Sean Martin
Billy Horschel (34) vs. Graeme McDowell (49): 8 votes for Horschel, 2 votes for McDowell. HORSCHEL wins.
Why I picked Horschel: “In his Match Play career, Horschel has beaten a Welshman (Jamie Donaldson in 2014, an Englishman (Danny Willett in 2016) and now an Ulsterman. I like his chances next year against Scotsman Robert MacIntyre.” – Mike McAllister
Final group standings: Leishman 3-0, Kuchar 2-1, Horschel 1-2, McDowell 0-3. LEISHMAN wins group.
Tony Finau (16) vs. Louis Oosthuizen (19): 6 votes for Oosthuizen, 4 votes for Finau. OOSTHUIZEN wins.
Why I picked Oosthuizen: “Louis Oosthuizen usually finds a way to get it done in match play.” – Tom Alter
Brandt Snedeker (48) vs. Brendon Todd (54): 7 votes for Snedeker, 3 votes for Todd. SNEDEKER wins.
Why we picked Snedeker: “The 2012 FedExCup champion has a 42% match win percentage in 19 official matches in this event compared to Todd’s three total matches in one appearance at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play (lost all three matches).” – ShotLink team
Final group standings: Oosthuizen 2-0-1, Snedeker 1-0-2, Finau 1-1-1, Todd 0-3. OOSTHUIZEN wins group.
ROUND OF 16 MATCHES
Rory McIlroy (1) vs. Louis Oosthuizen (19)
Patrick Cantlay (8) vs. Webb Simpson (9)
Justin Thomas (4) vs. Ian Poulter (58)
Xander Schauffele (12) vs. Hideki Matsuyama (22)
Jon Rahm (2) vs. Marc Leishman (15)
Patrick Reed (7) vs. Tommy Fleetwood (10)
Sungjae Im (23) vs. Collin Morikawa (44)
Adam Scott (6) vs. Tiger Woods (11)