The PGA TOUR leaves the state of Florida and heads west this week to Austin, Texas, for the WGC–Dell Technologies Match Play. The event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19-induced pause and wasn’t rescheduled. It’s the only tournament on the TOUR schedule that uses the match play format.
It’s the 22nd edition of the tournament, with major champions winning 13 of the first 21, including multiple winners Tiger Woods (three), Jason Day (two) and Geoff Ogilvy (two). The defending champion is Kevin Kisner, who defeated past Dell Technologies Match Play winner Matt Kuchar in the final match.
The tournament has a 64-player field that is divided into 16 four-player groups for round-robin play for the first three days. The group winners advance to the round of 16 for single-elimination play, with the winner collecting 550 FedEx points and almost $1.8 million in prize money.
Austin Country Club, a Pete Dye-designed par-71 layout, is hosting the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play for the fifth time. It’s the second time in three weeks these players will face a Dye course, known for their ability to challenge all aspects of the professionals’ games.
Sergio Garcia is a former Masters champion and a Ryder Cup veteran who could make a deep run if he can get out of a tough group that includes Tyrell Hatton, Lee Westwood and Matt Wallace.
Betting Odds at WGC-Dell Technologies
U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and PLAYERS Championship winner Justin Thomas top the odds at 12-1. Dustin Johnson, the winner of the WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play in 2017 and the reigning Masters and FedEx Cup champion is next at 14-1, despite cooling off of late.
He is joined at that figure by Jon Rahm, who is ranked third in the world and has six top 10 finishes in 10 starts but is still in search of his first win in the 2021 season. Rory McIlroy, also a past Match Play champion, has been struggling but is still listed at 20-1 odds this week. At 22-1 odds is PGA champion Collin Morikawa.
Underdog Picks in Austin
With former major champions comprising more than half the past Match Play winners, it’s not a bad idea to look down the list for a player that meets that criteria. Webb Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open champion, has had a solid 2021 after winning twice in 2020. He’s also been on three Presidents Cup and three Ryder Cup teams, providing him with plenty of match play experience.
Sergio Garcia is a former Masters champion and a Ryder Cup veteran who could make a deep run if he can get out of a tough group that includes Tyrell Hatton, Lee Westwood and Matt Wallace. Garcia’s ball-striking is still as good as ever, but he still suffers occasionally from a balky putter.
Match play seems to bring the best out of the 11-time PGA TOUR winner who has odds of 40-1.
Billy Horschel, at 80-1 odds, is in a favorable and inexperienced group that includes PGA Championship winner Morikawa, Max Homa and J.T. Poston. Horschel is a former FedEx Cup champion and a fierce competitor with a toughness that serves him well in match play. He doesn’t quit, and his solid play from tee to green can keep constant pressure on opponents.