WGC Dell Tech Matchplay 2022 Overview
The top-64 OWGR-ranked players beginning the week of the competition were indeed listed in the WGC Dell Match Play odds with just a few absentees. Cameron Smith, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Harris English, and Phil Mickelson were the only five players eligible to participate this year but chose to sit out due to rest or injury. Sebastian Munoz, Keegan Bradley, Robert MacIntyre, Keith Mitchell, and Sepp Straka have secured their places as the best 64 players available this week along with Maverick who has made the field since the withdrawal of last week’s winner Sam Burns.
Round-robin matches are used in the first round of the bracket. Each group consists of four golfers, identical to World Cup soccer group play. The groupings are allocated at random, however, the top-16 players will all be in separate groups. This adjustment was implemented to eliminate premature departures from the world’s best, which was a common issue in the previous single-elimination format. Got to keep those sponsors happy hey!
While this makes the initial rounds on Wednesday through Friday a bit more intriguing, the inverted structure has automatically front-loaded all of the excitement to the opening rounds, leaving for a very anti-climactic and achingly long final round unless you are on the winning ticket, which is what we aim to bring you in this week detailed preview.
Austin Country Club, like other of Pete Dye’s legendary designs we’ve seen in recent months, is a positional, strategists’ course. Water, breezes, undulations on sloping fairways, and deep fairway pot bunkers will all need players to navigate. It still has one of the TOUR’s most famous risk/reward holes in the 317-yard Par-4 13th, which, depending on the wind direction, can be a very gettable Eagle opportunity or a surefire way to lose a hole if you come up short in the water.
5 Key Skills Set Required
This is a Pete Dye designed track and therefore you may wish to concentrate your research on stats coming from those venues. I have certainly favoured data from correlating venues when pulling my final thoughts together.
- Pete Dye Specialists – Brian Harman, Kevin Kisner, Dustin Johnson, Abraham Ancer, Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, Patrick Cantley, Adam Scott, BDC. A mix of long of player types tells you that Pete Dye tracks don’t favour one particular style of play.
- SG T2G – Heading into this match play event, we want to look for players who are stroking the ball well from tee to green. Those that are in control of their long game will hold a distinct advantage this week as putting and scrambling may see you through one match but not all of the group matches and onto the knockout stages.
- GIR gained – Matchplay can be viewed in many ways. I look for players who rarely give holes away and give their opponent easy opportunities. One area to look at when searching for this player type is GIR Gained. Those players who hit a high percentage of greens will be difficult to beat. Making many par’s in matchplay is a great foundation for success.
- Bogey Avoidance – One of the key factors in match play golf is not giving away easy holes to your opponent. Look for players who make few mistakes when narrowing down your picks this week. Players like Day, Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner are all players who scramble well, have good putting and make few mistakes with their T2G game. None are explosive players who regularly string 3 -4 birdies in a row together. So don’t get drawn into all the attacking players this week. Steady away with few mistakes has been a solid recipe for success at the WGC match play.
- SG Putting Bermudagrass – It’s a match play event this week, which means one thing. Those that can put will never be far away. Putting in this format of the game is such an asset and certainly one you should be considered when narrowing down your portfolio for the week. Previous winners Day, Kisner, Billy Horschel all stand out as top class putters.