WGC Match Play Tournament – Preview

Our 2nd WGC Event is back this week coming live from Austin, Texas (my dream home). This is an awesome event as it provides a break from the normal stroke play event. This event consists of a round-robin style format for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Then, it shifts to single elimination for the weekend. ITS A LOT OF GOLF. Let’s dive into this weeks tournament

History:

In 2018, we saw Bubba Watson steal the trophy from my boy Kevin Kisner 7&6. Pretty brutal beating but Bubba’s strength is Match Play. The more exciting matchup last year was JT vs Bubba. Unfortunately, JT made a few mistakes that cost him big.

Here are Bubba’s highlights on Sunday last year:

 

Highlight Groupings:

As I mentioned above, the groupings are in a pooled model. They are group in 4 players per group. I am not going to walk through every match but I will definitely be keeping an eye on a few groups throughout Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Group 12
(12) Jason Day
(20) Phil Mickelson
(37) Henrik Stenson
(52) Jim Furyk

OMG, WHAT A GROUP! This was drawn random but I don’t think we will see better matchups throughout the week. 4 Major Champions paired up. Stenson doesn’t, Phil only hits driver, Jason Day absolutely BOMBS the ball and Jim is the Dad of the PGA tour.

Group 14
(14) Tony Finau
(30) Ian Poulter
(48) Kevin Kisner
(56) Keith Mitchell

The second best group is above. I feel like Keith and Kisner play a very similar style of golf. Both very scrappy, solid putters, and really cool dudes. It’ll be cool to see them battle it out. Last year, Kisner destroyed Poulter 7&6. I hope to see a similar result this year.

The Course:

Austin Country was founded in 1899, Austin Country Club is one of the oldest existing clubs in Texas and home to one of the greatest golf instructors who ever lived, Harvey Penick. The Club consists of an 18-hole Pete Dye design golf course, Harvey Penick learning center. It a GREAT match play course which includes a lot of risk/reward holes. For instance:

Par 5, 12:

AustinCountryClub-Par5-12th

This hole plays like plays 568 yards from Championship Tees but it’s all downhill. The guys hit absolute Moon balls on this hole. WELL over 400 yards!!

Par 4, 13th

Nothing says Match Play like a short, driveable par 4!! Check out Rory with the Big Stick!

 

Predictions:

Winner: Tommy Fleetwood (22-1) or JT (15-1)

My Favorite Group Pick: Franciso Molinari (+138) to win group 9 

Winners Day 1: Si-Woo Kim (+225) over John Rahm

Dark Horse: Ian Poulter (35-1) I hate to say it but he’s got so much history in Ryder Cup Match Play

Fade: Jordan Spieth (50-1)

Coverage:

Wednesday-Friday: PGA Tour Live (10:15 a.m.-8 p.m.); Golf Channel (2-8 p.m.)

Saturday: Round of 16, Golf Channel and PGA Tour Live (10 a.m.-2 p.m.); Quarterfinals, NBC (2-6 p.m.)

Sunday: Semifinals, Golf Channel (10 a.m.-2 p.m.); Championship and Consolation Matches, NBC (3-7 p.m.)

Final Thoughts:

Enjoy Match Play! Austin Gets Weird