2016 World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play Pre-Tournament Notes

WGC-Dell Match Play2016 World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play Pre-Tournament Notes
Dates: March 21-27
Where: Austin Country Club, Austin, Texas
Par/Yards: 35-36–71/7,073
Field: Top 64 from the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) as of March 14, 2016. These 64 players are then seeded by their ranking based on their position in the OWGR on Monday, March 21, 2016.
Format: Match play (hole-by-hole competition)
Defending Champion: Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland)
Purse: $9,500,000; Winner’s Share: $1,612,432 million

Austin Country Club

  • Founded in 1899, Austin Country Club is one of the oldest existing clubs in Texas.
  • The club’s current property is located on a challenging Pete Dye-designed golf course built in 1984 with breathtaking views of Lake Austin.
  • This course is the third home for Austin Country Club. With its deep pot bunkers, undulating turf and dramatic fairway falls, the course includes Texas accents added by extensive use of massive limestone slabs, quarried on site, to build revetments for tees, greens and fairways.
  • The front nine and the back nine of the Austin Country Club have been switched for the Dell Match Play.
  • The holes that will serve as the tournament’s back-nine border  on Lake Austin with spectacular views from what is known as the “lowlands nine.”
  • The rest of the course is higher and more typical of the Texas Hill Country. The club has served as home to several of the game’s greats, including World Golf Hall of Famers Harvey Penick, Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw.

Seeding Players

  • Players in the field will be seeded according to their position on the Official World Ranking as of Monday, March 21.
  • The highest ranked player in the field is No. 1, and the lowest ranked player in the field is No. 64.
  • Players are then placed into four pools of 16 players.
    • 1-16/Pool A
    • 17-32/Pool B
    • 33-48/Pool C
    • 49-64/Pool
  • The top 16 ranked players in the world will head 16 groups of four players each.
  • The No. 1 seed is the top player in Group 1, No. 2 seed is the top player in Group 2 and so on.
  • Each of the groups headed by the top 16 ranked players will have their respective groups filled out by randomly selecting them from three pools of players; Pool B (players ranked 17-32), Pool C (players ranked 33-48) and Pool D (players ranked 49-64). For example, No. 1 Jordan Spieth will be grouped with one player from 17-34, 33-48 and 49-64.
  • Jim Furyk (wrist injury) and Henrik Stenson (scheduling) qualified but will not play.
  • Patton Kizzire (No. 65) and Thorbjorn Olesen (No. 66) replaced Furyk and Stenson.

New Competition Format

  • Last year, the 64-player Dell Match Play utilized Group Play (or Round Robin) Matches for the first time with the field divided into 16 four-player groups. Group Play (Round Robin) Matches will continue again this year, but with a new proviso, the 18-hole matches will now be played to either a conclusion, or a halve, with matches not extending beyond 18 holes until Friday.
  • Points are awarded to players based on results of each match as follows: Winner 1 point, Loser 0 point, Halved each player ½ point.
  • The player in each group with the highest point total at the end of group play advances to the 16-player, single-elimination matches.
  • In the event two or more players in a group are equal with the highest point totals, a stroke play hole-by-hole playoff on holes 1 through 18 in sequence will determine the player that advances to the 16 player, single-elimination matches.
  • Wednesday, Round 1 – 32 matches (64 players)
  • Thursday, Round 2 – 32 matches (64 players)
  • Friday, Round 3 – 32 matches (64 players)
  • Saturday Morning, Round 4  – Eight matches (16 players) – winners advance to round 5/quarter-final matches. Matches all square after 18 holes in round 4 extended on holes 10 through 18 and repeated if necessary.
  • Saturday Afternoon, Round 5 –  Four quarter-final matches (eight players) – winners advance to round 6 (semi-final) matches. Matches all square after 18 holes in rounds 5 are extended on holes 12 through 18 and repeated if necessary.
  • Sunday Morning, Round 6 – Two semi-final matches (four players) – winners advance to the championship match, losers advance to match for third place. Matches all square after 18 holes in rounds 6 are extended on holes 12 through 18 and repeated if necessary.
  • Sunday Afternoon, Round 7– match for third place (two players) and championship match (two players). Matches all square after 18 holes in rounds 7 are extended on holes 12 through 18 and repeated if necessary.

How the 2015 Dell Match Play was won by Rory McIlroy

  • Rory McIlroy defeated Gary Woodland, 4 and 2, in the championship match to go undefeated (7-0) for the week.
  • With his victory at the age of 25 years, 11 months and 29 days, he became the youngest winner in Dell Match Play history, surpassing Jason Day, who was 26 years, 1 month, 28 days when he won in 2014. McIlroy joined Tiger Woods (29) and Jack Nicklaus (17) as the third player to win 10 events prior to his 26th birthday on the PGA TOUR in the last 75 years.
  • McIlroy at the Match Play Championship last year
    • R1: beat Jason Dufner, 5 and 4
    • R2: beat Brandt Snedeker, 2-up
    • R3: beat Billy Horschel, 20 holes
    • R4: beat Hideki Matsuyama, 6 and 5
    • QF: beat Paul Casey, 22 holes
    • SF: beat Jim Furyk, 1-up
    • FINAL: beat Gary Woodland, 4 and 2

No. 1 Jordan Spieth (United States)

  • The No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking played several rounds at the Austin Country Club while a member of the University of Texas golf team.
  • “I couldn’t be more excited and proud that my second home of Austin is going to host the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play at Austin Country Club,” said Spieth. “I know that my peers — the Americans and the international players — are going to love the Austin feel, the crowds and Austin Country Club itself.”
  • With a win, Jordan Spieth would join Rory McIlroy (2015) and Tiger Woods as the third player to win the Dell Match Play as a No. 1 seed. Woods won the tournament three times (2008, 2004 and 2003) as the No. 1 seed.
  • This year will be Spieth’s third appearance at the Dell Match Play. In 2014, Spieth defeated Pablo Larrazabal (2-up), Thomas Bjorn (5 and 4) and Matt Kuchar (2 and 1) before losing to Ernie Els (4 and 2) in the Quarterfinals.
  • In last year’s event, Spieth failed to advance out of group play despite wins against Mikko Ilonen (4 and 2) and Matt Every (4 and 3). Spieth lost to Lee Westwood, 2-up, allowing Westwood to advance to the next round where he lost to Danny Willett.
  • In six starts this season Spieth has two top-10s – a victory at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and a T7 at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.

No. 2 Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland)

  • The 2015 Dell Match Play win marked Rory McIlroy’s 10th PGA TOUR victory in his 92nd start. Two weeks later, McIlroy claimed the Wells Fargo Championship for his 11th TOUR win.
    McIlroy at the Match Play Championship (2009-2015)
  • 2009
    • R1: beat Louis Oosthuizen, 2 and 1
    • R2: beat Hunter Mahan, 1-up
    • R3: beat Tim Clark, 4 and 3
    • QF: lost to Geoff Ogilvy, 2 and 1
  • 2010
    • R1: beat Kevin Na, 1-up
    • R2: lost to Oliver Wilson, 20 holes
  • 2011
    • R1: beat Jonathan Byrd, 4 and 2
    • R2: lost to Ben Crane, 8 and 7
  • 2012
    • R1: beat George Coetzee, 2-up
    • R2: beat Anders Hansen, 3 and 2
    • R3: beat Miguel Angel-Jimenez, 3 and 1
    • QF: beat Sangmoon Bae, 3 and 2
    • SF: beat Lee Westwood, 3 and 1
    • FINAL: lost to Hunter Mahan, 2 and 1
  • 2013
    • R1: lost to Shane Lowry, 1-up
  • 2014
    • R1: beat Boo Weekley, 3 and 2
    • R2: lost to Harris English, 19 holes
  • 2015
    • R1: beat Jason Dufner, 5 and 4
    • R2: beat Brandt Snedeker, 2-up
    • R3: beat Billy Horschel, 20 holes
    • R4: beat Hideki Matsuyama, 6 and 5
    • QF: beat Paul Casey, 22 holes
    • SF: beat Jim Furyk, 1-up
    • FINAL: beat Gary Woodland, 4 and 2
  • No. 2 on the Official World Golf Ranking, McIlroy is a combined 24-under in the two World Golf Championships events played this season.
    • He was 14-under for a T11 at the HSBC Champions and 10-under for a T3 at the Cadillac Championship.
  • McIlroy is one of 10 players with at least two career World Golf Championships victories (2014 Bridgestone Invitational and 2015 Dell Match Play). Players with multiple World Golf Championships wins include Tiger Woods (18), Geoff Ogilvy (3), Darren Clarke (2), Ernie Els (2), Hunter Mahan (2), Phil Mickelson (2), Ian Poulter (2), Dustin Johnson (2) and Adam Scott (2).
  • At 25 years, 11 months, 29 days, McIlroy is the youngest winner of the Dell Match Play and the sixth youngest in the history of the World Golf Championships series.

No. 3 Jason Day (Australia)

  • Jason Day was the owner of an impressive 14-3 record at the Dell Match Play through 2014 (an 82.3 winning percentage), reaching the semifinals in 2013 and winning the 2014 Dell Match Play in 23 holes over Victor Dubuisson.
  • Last year, Day lost all three matches in group play and failed to advance to R4. With a 14-6 record, his winning percentage is now 70 percent.
  • Day, No. 3 on the Official World Golf Ranking, is one of two Australians (Geoff Ogilvy) to win the Dell Match Play.
  • Five Australians are scheduled to compete in Austin (Jason Day, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Matt Jones, Marcus Fraser).

No. 4 Bubba Watson (United States)

  • Bubba Watson made his first appearance in the Dell Match Play in 2011 where he advanced to the semifinals before losing to Martin Kaymer, 1-up.
  • He then lost the consolation match to Matt Kuchar, 2 and 1, to finish fourth.
  • Watson has not advanced beyond R3 in his four appearances (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) since his debut.
  • Watson claimed the Northern Trust Open when he finished birdie-birdie-par over the final three holes at The Riviera Country Club to post a one-stroke victory over Adam Scott and Jason Kokrak. The victory was Watson’s second win in the Northern Trust Open. He also won the event in 2014.
  • In his very next start, at the Cadillac Championship, Watson was runner-up to Scott. Watson is No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Phil Mickelson (United States)

  • Phil Mickelson is making his first start in the Dell Match Play since 2011 when he lost 6 and 5 in R2 to Rickie Fowler.
  • In 11 appearances at the Dell Match Play, Mickelson has advanced beyond R3 just once, in 2004, losing to Davis Love III, 1-up in the quarterfinals.
  • Should Mickelson win in Austin, it would represent victories on the PGA TOUR this season for every Masters champion since 2010, joining Charl Schwartzel (Valspar Championship), Adam Scott (The Honda Classic, Cadillac Championship), Bubba Watson (Northern Trust Open) and Jordan  Spieth (Hyundai Tournament of Champions).
  • Mickelson leads the PGA TOUR in Adjusted Scoring Average (69.008).

Charl Schwartzel (South Africa)

  • Charl Schwartzel came from five strokes back to win the Valspar Championship earlier this month, defeating Bill Haas at the first hole of a sudden-death playoff for his second win on the PGA TOUR.
  • His first victory was the Masters title he claimed at Augusta National in 2011 when he birdied the final four holes.
  • In Schwartzel’s first six appearances at the Dell Match Play from 2009-14 he never advanced beyond R3.
  • Last year, Schwartzel won all three group play matches before suffering a 3 and 1 loss to Paul Casey in R4.
  • Schwartzel has a 9-5 record at the Dell Match Play which includes three matches won in 20 holes.
  • Last year he defeated Dustin Johnson in R2 in 20 holes.
  • In the next round he beat Matt Jones by the same margin.
  • Schwartzel also went 20 holes to defeat Ryo Ishikawa in R1 in 2011.

Adam Scott (Australia)

  • Scott made 12 consecutive appearances in the Dell Match Play from 2002-13 with his best result coming in 2003 when he lost in the semifinals to Tiger Woods in 19 holes.
  • The players he defeated to reach the semifinal (R1/Bernhard Langer, R2/Rocco Mediate, R3/Kevin Sutherland, QF/Jay Haas) now compete on PGA TOUR Champions.
  • Scott went on to defeat fellow Australian Peter Lonard, 1-up, in the consolation match.
  • Scott did not play the event in 2014 and failed to win any of his three matches in group play last year.
  • Scott comes into the Dell Match Play in good form following a runner-up finish at the Northern Trust Open in February and back-to-back wins at The Honda Classic and the Cadillac Championship in March.
  • With wins in back-to-back weeks, Scott became the first player to do so since Billy Horschel won the BMW Championship and TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola consecutively in 2014.
  • A victory at the Dell Match Play would see Scott join Tiger Woods (18) and fellow Australian Geoff Ogilvy (3) as the only players with three or more World Golf Championships wins.
  • Scott is leading the FedExCup standings heading into the Dell Match Play. Charles Howell III is the only FedExCup leader heading into the Dell Match Play to advance beyond R2.

Rickie Fowler (United States)

  • Rickie Fowler will make his sixth appearance at the Dell Match Play. In 2014, Fowler lost to Jason Day (3 and 2) in the semifinals before defeating Ernie Els (19 holes) in the consolation match to record his best finish at the event.
  • Last year, Fowler won all three matches in group play before losing to Louis Oosthuizen (1-up) in R4.
  • Fowler has finished in the top-10 in four of his five starts on the PGA TOUR in 2016 (5/Hyundai Tournament of Champions, MC/Farmers Insurance Open, P2/Waste Management Phoenix Open, T6/The Honda Classic, T8/WGCCadillac Championship).

Danny Willett (England)

  • Four-time European Tour winner Danny Willett has made eight starts in World Golf Championships events, having played at least once in each of the four in the World Golf Championships series.
  • He has finished third in three different World Golf Championships events, his best career finishes on the PGA TOUR. One of the top three finishes came at the 2015 Dell Match Play, where he defeated Jim Furyk, 3 and 2 in the consolation match.
  • Willett’s best PGA TOUR result outside of the World Golf Championships is T6 at The Open Championship last year.
  • His four European Tour wins are the 2016 Omega Dubai Desert Classic, 2015 Omega European Masters, 2012 BMW International Open and 2015 Nedbank Golf Challenge.
  • He finished second to Rory McIlroy in last year’s Race to Dubai on the European Tour.

Thomas Pieters (Belgium)

  • Thomas Pieters shot 15-under to finish third, three strokes behind winner Scott Hend, at the True Thailand Classic earlier this month to jump from No. 66 to No. 56 in the Official World Golf Ranking and earn a spot in the field at the Dell Match Play.
  • This will be Pieters’ debut in the Dell Match Play. His only other PGA TOUR start was at this season’s WGC-HSBC Champions where he posted a T23.

Patton Kizzire (United States)

  • Patton Kizzire, last year’s Web.com Tour Player of the Year, played his way into the field for the Dell Match Play with a T33 finish at the Valspar Championship.
  • It was enough to move him from No. 68 in the Official World Golf Ranking to No. 65, taking the spot of Jim Furyk, who is unable to compete due to a wrist injury.

World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play Notes

  • For the first time in the history of the World Golf Championships events, four international players currently hold the four different titles;
    • Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland), Dell Match Play
    • Shane Lowry (Ireland), Bridgestone Invitational
    • Russell Knox (Scotland), HSBC Champions
    • Adam Scott (Australia), Cadillac Championship
  • The three highest-seeded players to win the Dell Match Play are Kevin Sutherland (No. 62 in 2002), Steve Stricker (No. 55 in 2001) and Geoff Ogilvy (No. 52 in 2006).
  • The longest match in the finals of the Dell Match Play lasted 38 holes (scheduled 36-hole final) when Jeff Maggert defeated Andrew Magee at the La Costa Resort & Spa in 1999.
  • When an 18-hole final was on the schedule, the longest match went 23 holes in 2014 when Jason Day defeated Victor Dubuisson at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain.
  • Tiger Woods owns the record for the largest winning margin in the final with his 8 and 7 win over Stewart Cink at The Gallery at Dove Mountain in 2008.
  • Kevin Sutherland (2002) from the United States, Henrik Stenson (2007) from Sweden and Ian Poulter (2010) from England are the three players who made the Dell Match Play their maiden PGA TOUR victory.


  • During the 2016 Dell Match Play, players will have the opportunity to win a Cadillac performance vehicle with a
    hole-in-one on the par-3, 187-yard 11th hole.

Community Impact

  • The Dell Match Play is broadcast to more than 1 billion households in 224 countries and territories in 31 languages outside of the United States.
  • Proceeds from the Dell Match Play will benefit The First Tee and Austin based charities Austin Parks Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area, The First Tee of Greater Austin,
    Helping Hand Home for Children and Keep Austin Beautiful.
  • Dell is dedicated to using the charitable proceeds from the tournament to encourage improved health, wellness, resiliency and academic achievement that will
    have a measurable and lasting impact on the community’s youth.

Walter Hagen Cup

  • Each year the Walter Hagen Cup is awarded to the champion of the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play.
  • The winner of each of the World Golf Championships is awarded a Wedgwood trophy named after a great international figure in the game.The Gary Player Cup is awarded to the champion of the Bridgestone Invitational.
  • The winner of the Cadillac Championship receives the Gene Sarazen Cup.
  • Hagen was golf’s first full-time touring professional.
  • He won 40 times on the PGA TOUR, including 11 times in major championships.
  • It is appropriate that the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play trophy bears his name as he was perhaps the greatest match player in history.
  • He won five PGA Championships in match play, including four consecutive from 1924-1927.
  • He once won 22 straight 36-hole matches in the PGA and 32 out of 33 matches between the first round in 1921 and the fourth round of 1928.
  • In six Ryder Cup matches, his record was 7-1-1. Hagen, an inaugural member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, also won two U.S. Opens and four British Opens.








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