This week the PGA TOUR moves out of Florida and heads to Austin, Texas for the WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play. The event began in 1999 and is being held for the fifth time at the par 71, Pete Dye designed Austin Country Club.
The defending champion from 2019 is Kevin Kisner, who was unable to defend his title due to the cancellation in 2020 due to Covid-19. Kisner defeated 2013 Match Play champion Matt Kuchar in the finals for his third PGA Tour title after finishing second to Bubba Watson in 2018.
The WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play Field
The field is comprised of 64 of the top golfers in the world, including the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR). Notables who qualified for the event but won’t be playing are Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Brooks Koepka, Gary Woodland and Justin Rose.
For the first three days, the field is divided into sixteen four player groups and each player plays a match against the others in their group. The winner of each group advances to the round of 16, which begins the single elimination match play portion of the tournament.
Seven past champions are in the field, including two time winner Jason Day and top ranked player in the OWGR and reigning Masters Champion Dustin Johnson. U.S. Open winner and FedEx Cup points leader Bryson DeChambeau and PGA Championship victor Collin Morikawa are also in the field.
Rahm is ranked third in the OWGR and could really use the 550 FedEx Cup points that go to the winner to move up from his 18th place in the standings.
Betting Odds Leaders
DeChambeau, winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and third place finisher in THE PLAYERS Championship leads the futures betting odds at +1200. He is ranked third in the OWGR and his newly found length and style of play translates well to the match play format.
After an error in judgement resulted in the uttering of an offensive term in January’s Tournament of Champions, Justin Thomas took some time to get his head and game back in shape. It all came together in a Players Championship two weeks ago and has the 2017 PGA Championship winner tied with DeChambeau at the top of the betting odds. If he has truly exorcised the demons that haunted his golf swing, then he could really be a force this week.
World number one Dustin Johnson and 2017 WGC – Dell Technologies winner has cooled off a bit from his torrid start to the 2021 season. He is still a force to be reckoned with on the golf course, especially in match play and is at +1400 odds, along with Jon Rahm.
The only thing Rahm is missing in the 2021 season is a victory. The 26 year old from Spain and five time TOUR winner has six top five finishes in 10 starts, including a tie for seventh at the Masters and a tie for ninth at THE PLAYERS. Rahm is ranked third in the OWGR and could really use the 550 FedEx Cup points that go to the winner to move up from his 18th place in the standings.
Completing the top five in the betting odds is 2015 Dell Technologies winner Rory McIlroy at +2000. The four time major champion has been struggling with his form since the TOUR ended its Covid pause in July, 2020. He admitted after a missed cut at THE PLAYERS that his attempt to keep up with Bryson DeChambeau’s driving distance has adversely affected his game.