2023 WGC-Dell Match Play: Preview, predictions, groups, format

2023 WGC-Dell Match Play: Preview, predictions, groups, format

The 2023 WGC-Dell Match Play takes place this week in Austin in what is likely to be the final ever version of the event. While the PGA Tour seeks a new sponsor and location for the event, many of the best golfers in the world are gearing up for five days of match-play action in Texas.

The event is unlike the majority of other PGA Tour events due to the fact that the winner will be decided via match play rather than stroke play. This means that each player will be directly competing against a different player on each day of the event, with the task at hand being to simply beat their opponents on a hole-by-hole basis.

As 2023 is a Ryder Cup year, many of the players taking part will be hoping to gain valuable match-play experience and impress Luke Donald and Zach Jonson. A good run at this event may well put certain players in the frame for a captain’s pick from either man if their form isn’t good enough across the year to guarantee themselves an automatic pick.

In total, 64 players will take part – with the world’s top 64 all being given the offer to attend. Justin Rose and Justin Thomas are the only two players who have declined the invite, while there are a further nine players in the top 64 ineligible due to their participation in LIV Golf.

WGC-Dell Match Play format

The 64 players who are competing at the event have been split into 16 groups of four. Each player in the group will play each other once in a round-robin format with the player with the best record after three games progressing through to the round of 16. The other three players in each group will be eliminated from the tournament.

Each group is seeded, consisting of an A player, a B player, a C player, and a D player. A players are the top 16 ranked players in the tournament, B players are the 17-32nd ranked players in the tournament, and so on. Players will receive 1 point for a win, 0.5 points for a tie and 0 points for a loss. If any players are tied on the same points, then a playoff will take place on Friday to decide who makes it through to the last 16.

From the last 16, players will then be playing in a straight-knockout format where a loss will see them go home and a win will see them progress through to the next stage until there is only one man left standing on Sunday.

Highlighted groups

  • Group 1: Scottie Scheffler, Tom Kim, Alex Noren, Davis Riley
  • Group 2: Jon Rahm, Billy Horschel, Keith Mitchell, Rickie Fowler
  • Group 3: Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley, Denny McCarthy, Scott Stallings
  • Group 9: Collin Morikawa, Jason Day, Adam Svensson, Victor Perez
  • Group 12: Jordan Spieth, Shane Lowry, Taylor Montgomery, Mackenzie Hughes

WGC-Dell Match Play predictions

So far, 2023 has been dominated by Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler. While the likes of Max Homa and Kurt Kitayama have also enjoyed wins on the PGA Tour, Rahm and Scheffler have five wins between them and we’re only in March.

Rahm has been placed in a trickier group than Scheffler and he is also due to face Rory Mcilroy in the semi-finals should both men progress as expected. With that in mind, it is difficult to look beyond Scheffler for the title this week.

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