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Quick Take: Looking Over the WGC-Dell Match Play Bracket

Jason Day
Jason Day is the defending champion of the WGC-Dell Match Play. Photo Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

If your NCAA tournament bracket is already busted or if you’re on a roll and feel like you’ve figured out this picking winners thing, the bracket for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship was set Monday night for this week’s event at Austin Country Club.

It brings the best players in the world together (well, most of them anyway since Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose are taking a pass) to play golf’s version of knockout.


To make sure everyone plays at least three days, it starts with round-robin play which will produce 16 players on the weekend for the serous stuff. The round-robin groups were set Monday night and here’s a quick look at what emerged:

The toughest group: Sergio Garcia has been the face of Spanish golf for years, falling in line after Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal. Jon Rahm appears to be next in the line of Spanish ascension – he finished third in his first WGC start recently in Mexico — but he will have to get through Garcia and the sneaky good duo of Kevin Chappell and Shane Lowry to advance

Louie, Louie: Over the last three years, Louis Oosthuizen is 13-3 in this event, losing twice to Jason Day. That means the prettiest swing in the game hasn’t won the title but he’s made life miserable for almost everyone. Hideki Matsuyama, Ross Fisher and Jim Furyk are on notice.

Putting the ‘world’ in World Golf Championship: Sweden’s Alex Noren, Italy’s Francesco Molinari, Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger and Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee are in the same group.

Wave that flag: Here’s an All-American group – Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, Kevin Kisner and Jason Dufner. Everyone knows that Reed lives for match play, which makes him the obvious man to beat in this group, but don’t sleep on Kisner. He’s playing well and he doesn’t scare.

Regular winners need not apply: World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is in a group that includes Jimmy Walker, Martin Kaymer and Webb Simpson, all of whom have won at least one major championship. Strong pedigree there but will it be enough to slow DJ’s run to a third straight win this season?

Potential bracket buster: Jason Day is No. 3 in the world and a two-time winner of this event but finds himself in a bracket that includes Arnold Palmer Invitational winner Mark Leishman, the always dangerous Lee Westwood and Pat Perez, who has been on one of the best runs of his long career. Day is the defending champion but needs to play better than he has recently to get out of this group.

And now, the 16 groups:

GROUP

PLAYERS (seed)

GROUP 1
1) Dustin Johnson

18) Jimmy Walker

41) Martin Kaymer

58) Webb Simpson

GROUP 2
2) Rory McIlroy

26) Emiliano Grillo

33) Gary Woodland

62) Søren Kjeldsen

GROUP 3
3) Jason Day

28) Marc Leishman

43) Lee Westwood

56) Pat PErez

GROUP 4
4) Hideki Matsuyama

23) Louis Oosthuizen

47) Ross Fisher

51) Jim Furyk

GROUP 5
5) Jordan Spieth

32) Ryan Moore

37) Yuta Ikeda

54) Hideto Tanihara

GROUP 6
6) Justin Thomas

27) Matthew Fitzgerald

46) Kevin Na

49) Chris Wood

GROUP 7
7) Sergio Garcia

21) Jon Rahm

38) Kevin Chappell

53) Shane Lowry

GROUP 8
8) Alex Noren

25) Francesco Molinari

36) Bernd Wiesberger

57) Thongchai Jaidee

GROUP 9
9) Patrick Reed

20) Brooke Koepka

34) Kevin Kisner

59) Jason Dufner

GROUP 10
10) Tyrrell Hatton

22) Rafa Cabrera Bello

40) Jeunghun Wang

61) Charles Howell III

GROUP 11
11) Danny Willett

17) Russell Knox

42) Bill Haas

64) K.T. Kim

GROUP 12
12) Paul Casey

24) Charl Schwartzel

45) Byeong Hun An

60) Joost Luiten

GROUP 13
13) Bubba Watson

30) Thomas Pieters

39) Scott Piercy

55) Jhonattan Vegas

GROUP 14
14) Phil Mickelson

31) J.B. Holmes

35) Daniel Berger

63) Si Woo Kim

GROUP 15
15) Branden Grace

19) Brandt Snedekr

48) William McGirt

52) Andy Sullivan

GROUP 16
16) Matt Kuchar

29) Tommy Fleetwood

44) Zach Johnson

50) Brendan Steele

 

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