2019 World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play Preview
Dates: March 27-31, 2019
Where: Austin Country Club, Austin, Texas
Par/Yards: 35-36 – 71/7,108 yards
2018 champion: Bubba Watson
FedExCup: 550 points to the winner
Format: Match play (hole-by-hole competition)
Find The 2019 WGC Dell Match Bracket At The Link
Five Things to Know about the 2019 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
- Tiger Woods’ first start in Austin: Woods, winner of a record 18 World Golf Championships in nine different locations, is set to return to the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play for the first time since 2013. Two wins shy of Sam Snead’s all-time PGA TOUR record of 82, Woods is the only three-time winner of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play (2003, 2004, 2008).
- Star-studded field: 28 of the 30 players that qualified for the 2018 TOUR Championship and 64 of the top 66 in the Official World Golf Ranking as of March 18, 2019 are in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play field. The 64 players are seeded based on their position in the OWGR on Monday, March 25, 2019.
- Uniquely Austin: The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play returns to Austin for the fourth consecutive year for the only individual, head-to-head match play event on the PGA TOUR schedule and one of just four World Golf Championships events during the year. Over the first three editions, Austin Country Club has produced an impressive list of champions – 12-time PGA TOUR winner Jason Day (2016), 20-time PGA TOUR winner Dustin Johnson (2017) and 12-time PGA TOUR winner Bubba Watson (2018).
- Format: The 64-player field utilizes Group Play Matches with the field divided into 16-player groups. The 18-hole matches will be played to either a conclusion, or a halve, with matches not extending beyond 18 holes until Friday. The player in each group with the highest point total at the end of group play advances to the 16-player, single-elimination matches.
- Bracket: A random draw will be live on Golf Channel from 4-5 p.m. CT on Monday, March 19 to unveil the 2019 bracket for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and the FedExCup
- The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is the 22nd event in the PGA TOUR’s 2018-19 Season with 46 official events. Players vie to become the FedExCup champion and, new in 2018-19, the winner of the Wyndham Rewards Top 10, which honors the top-10 players in the FedExCup standings at the end of the Regular Season.
- Nine of the 12 winners of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in the FedExCup era have advanced to the season-ending TOUR Championship, including a streak of eight in a row dating back to 2011.
- Nine of the top 10 in the FedExCup standings are scheduled to compete at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Rory McIlroy (1), Xander Schauffele (2), Matt Kuchar (3), Paul Casey (4), Charles Howell III (5), Gary Woodland (6), Dustin Johnson (7), Justin Thomas (8) and Marc Leishman (9)
- Nine FedExCup champions are in the field at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Tiger Woods (2007, 2009), Jim Furyk (2010), Brandt Snedeker (2012) Henrik Stenson (2013), Billy Horschel (2014), Jordan Spieth (2015), Rory McIlroy (2016), Justin Thomas (2017) and Justin Rose (2018).
A look back at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
Justin Thomas, 3 and 2, to advance to the finals, Bubba Watson cruised to a
7-and-6 victory over Kevin Kisner to claim his second World Golf Championships title
(2014 WGC-HSBC Champions). Watson’s 7-and-6 victory was the largest in the
match since the event moved to an 18-hole championship match in 2011. Through seven matches, Watson defeated six higher- ranked seeds on his way to the 11th PGA TOUR victory of his career.
Championship Match – Bubba Watson (35) def. Kevin Kisner (32), 7 and 6
Consolation Match – Alex Noren (13) def. Justin Thomas (2), 5 and 3
A closer look at the field
- Seventeen countries will be represented at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play this week with the United States leading the way with 29 players in the field, followed by England with 10.
- Sixty-four of the top 66 in the Official World Golf Ranking as of March 18, 2019 are scheduled to compete with only Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott not competing. Satoshi Kodaira and Luke List completed the field
- Past winners of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in the field include Bubba Watson (2018), Dustin Johnson (2017), Jason Day (2014, 2016), Rory McIlroy (2015), Matt Kuchar (2013), Ian Poulter (2010), Tiger Woods (2003, 2004, 2008), Henrik Stenson (2007).
- Ten players will make their WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play debut: Abraham Ancer, Lucas Bjerrgaard, Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Harding, Tom Lewis, Keith Mitchell, Eddie Pepperell, Andrew Putnam, Matt Wallace and Aaron Wise.
Additional player notes
- With his victory in 2018, became the oldest (39 years, 4 months, 20 days) and first left-handed winner in tournament history
- Became just the fifth player with multiple major championships and multiple World Golf Championships titles, joining Ernie Els, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods
- After advancing from the group stage with a 2-0-1 record, went on to defeat Brian Harman (2-and-1), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (5-and-3), Justin Thomas (3-and-2) and Kevin Kisner (7-and-6) on his way to victory
- 7-and-6 victory over Kisner was the largest margin of victory in the finals since the event switched to an 18-hole championship match in 2011
- Was one of only four players to win three times during the 2017-18 season (Genesis Open, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Travelers Championship) along with Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas
- Has made the cut in seven of eight starts during the 2018-19 season, highlighted by a T4 at last week’s Valspar
- 80-time PGA TOUR winner holds record for most World Golf Championships titles (18) which have come in nine different locations: Arizona, California (Carlsbad and San Francisco), Florida, Georgia, Ohio, England, Ireland and Spain
- Owns tournament records for most matches won (33), most consecutive matches won (13) and largest margin of victory (9- and-8 victory over Stephen Ames/R1/2006)
- Making 13th start at the event and first since 2013 (T33)
- Making first start in the state of Texas since a missed cut at the 2005 AT&T Byron Nelson, which snapped a seven-year streak of 142 consecutive made cuts – a TOUR record
- Owns one top-10 in four starts during the 2018-19 season (T10/WGC-Mexico Championship)
- Making his sixth career start at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and has advanced out of the group stage once; best finish came in 2014 when he lost in the quarterfinals to Ernie Els (4-and-2)
- Owns a career record of 11-5-1 in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
- Played collegiately at the University of Texas as part of Texas’ 2012 National Championship team; beat Justin Thomas 3-and- 2 in match-play format in the championship match to help Texas beat Alabama and claim the national title
- 11-time PGA TOUR winner routinely played Austin Country Club in practice at the University of Texas, where he was the 2012 Big 12 Player of the Year before turning professional at the end of 2012
- In his most recent start, won THE PLAYERS Championship with a one-shot victory for his 15th career PGA TOUR title and first win at THE PLAYERS
- Currently ranked No. 1 in the FedExCup standings with a victory and five additional top-10s in seven starts this season
- Has not finished outside of the top six in any of his last six starts on TOUR
- Became the youngest winner in tournament history with his 2015 victory at the age of 25 years, 11 months, 25 days
- One of only three players (Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and McIlroy) to win the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play as the No. 1 seed
- Is tied-fourth in tournament history with 24 career match victories with an overall record of 24-11-2.
- Has advanced to at least the semifinals in three of 10 appearances at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play with a runner- up in 2012 and fourth-place finish in 2016.
- Holds the No. 1 seed for the third consecutive year
- In his 2017 victory, led a tournament record 94 percent of the holes he played and never trailed in any match over the course of 112 holes
- Beat Jon Rahm 1-up in the 2017 championship match
- Owns a career record of 14-12 over the course of 10 prior appearances
- Won the latest World Golf Championships event with his five-shot victory at the WGC-Mexico Championship, where he best Rory McIlroy by five shots for his sixth career WGC title – second most behind Tiger Woods
- Has five top-10s in his last six starts on the PGA TOUR, highlighted by the win in Mexico; most recently finished T6 at last
- week’s Valspar Championship
- Won his first World Golf Championships title at the 2018 World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational with a four- stroke victory over Kyle Stanley
- In 2018, fell 3-and-2 to eventual champion Bubba Watson in the semifinals following a perfect record of 3-0 in the group stage and additional wins over Si Woo Kim (6-and-5) and Kyle Stanley (3-and-2)
- Has five top-10s in nine starts on the PGA TOUR in 2018-19, including a solo runner-up at the Genesis Open and a pair of third-place finishes (Sentry Tournament of Champions, Waste Management Phoenix Open)
- One of only three multiple winners of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play (2014, 2016) along with Tiger Woods (2003, 2004, 2008) and Geoff Ogilvy (2006, 2009)
- In 2014, beat Victor Dubuisson after 23 holes in the longest championship match in tournament history since the championship match was shortened to 18 holes in 2011
- Owns a career record of 22-11-0 in eight prior appearances in the event
- Has four top-10s in eight starts on TOUR during the 2018-19 season
- Two Texas residents – Bryson DeChambeau (Dallas, Texas) and Abraham Ancer (San Antonio, Texas) – are making their first career starts at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Ancer is the first player from Mexico to qualify for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. DeChambeau
- Bryson DeChambeau missed qualifying for the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play by just a week. DeChambeau was outside of the top 64 at the qualification deadline but finished runner-up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard the week prior to the Dell Technologies Match Play a year ago to move inside the top 64 in the OWGR. In the year since, DeChambeau has posted four PGA TOUR victories and is currently ranked No. 6 in the OWGR.
- Keith Mitchell is the only player in the field making his first career start in a World Golf Championships event after winning The Honda Classic in February with a 16-foot birdie on the 72nd hole.
- The three highest-seeded players to win the Dell Technologies Match Play are Kevin Sutherland (No. 62 in 2002), Steve Stricker (No. 55 in 2001) and Geoff Ogilvy (No. 52 in 2006)
- Seven players have made a World Golf Championships event their first PGA TOUR win: Darren Clarke (2000 Dell Technologies Match Play), Craig Parry (2002 FedEx St. Jude Invitational), Kevin Sutherland (2002 Dell Technologies Match Play), Henrik Stenson (2007 Dell Technologies Match Play), Ian Poulter (2010 Dell Technologies Match Play), Shane Lowry (2015 FedEx St. Jude Invitational), Russell Knox (2015 HSBC Champions).
- Ian Poulter, the 2010 champion, owns the second-most career match victorieswith 27, trailing only Tiger Woods’ 33.
- Henrik Stenson, the 2007 winner, will compete at Austin Country Club for the first time as he hasn’t played the event since
- 2015. Justin Rose, the 2018 FedExCup winner, will make his first start at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play since 2016.
- The par-3 seventh hole at Austin Country Club has had an ace each of the last two years – Hideto Tanihara (2017) and Matt Kuchar (2018).
- In the first WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in 1999, Jeff Maggert chipped in on the 38th hole to defeat Andrew Magee for the title.
Proceeds from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play benefit five youth-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. The Dell Technologies Match Play has generated more than $3.2 million since moving to Austin for the 2016 event and more than $18 million for charity since its inception as part of the nearly $60 million raised for global charities since the advent of the World Golf Championships in 1999.
About Austin Country Club
Founded in 1899, Austin Country Club is one of the oldest existing clubs in Texas and has served as home to several of the game’s greats, including World Golf Hall of Famers Harvey Penick, Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw and was designed by World Golf Hall of Famer Pete Dye. The club’s current property is located on a challenging 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 Technologies 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.
World Golf Championships
The World Golf Championships are sanctioned and organized by the operational committee of the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour. Events in the World Golf Championships series include the Mexico Championship (Mexico City, Mexico), the Dell Technologies Match Play (Austin, Texas, USA), the FedEx St. Jude Invitational (Memphis, Tennessee, USA) and the HSBC Champions (Shanghai, China). World Golf Championship events are broadcast to more than 1 billion households in 226 countries and territories in 32 languages. The series as a whole has generated nearly $60 million for charitable causes since its inception in 1999.
Significant changes for the PGA TOUR in 2018-19
- A season with a better flow from start to finish; a return of THE PLAYERS Championship to March, which kicked off a cadence of significant events over five months; and a season that concludes with the FedExCup Playoffs in August. Every week matters – four of the eight winners during the fall of 2017 qualified for the season-ending TOUR Championship (Justin Thomas, Patton Kizzire, Patrick Cantlay and FedExCup champion Justin Rose).
- The FedExCup Playoffs – which have been reduced from four to three events beginning this season and will conclude before Labor Day, allowing the TOUR to own the August sports calendar – will feature fields of 125 for THE NORTHERN TRUST, 70 for the BMW Championship and 30 for the TOUR Championship, where the FedExCup Champion will be determined.
- A simplified, strokes-based scoring system at the TOUR Championship that crowns a singular champion. Instead of a points reset at the TOUR Championship, the TOUR is instituting a strokes-based system related to the FedExCup standings through the BMW Championship. The scoring system virtually replicates the win probabilities of the current system but uses strokes instead of points – which is much easier for golf fans, and the casual sports fan, to understand. The leader through the first two FedExCup Playoffs events will begin the TOUR Championship at 10-under par. The next four players will start at -8 through -5, respectively. The next five will begin at -4, regressing by one stroke per five players until players 26-30 start at even par. With the implementation of this change, the player with the lowest total score including FedExCup Starting Strokes will be the FedExCup champion and be credited with an official victory in the TOUR Championship. Two constants include both the drama and the crowning of a deserving champion, as seen over the first 12 years of the FedExCup. Using next year’s scoring at the 2018 TOUR Championship, Justin Rose – thanks to a birdie on the 72nd hole –would have captured the FedExCup by a single stroke over Tiger Woods, Billy Horschel and Dustin Johnson.
- A $10 million Wyndham Rewards-sponsored bonus – the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 –where players will be rewarded for their outstanding play during the Regular Season, prior to the start of the FedExCup Playoffs. The top Regular Season finisher in FedExCup points through the Wyndham Championship will earn $2 million, followed by $1.5 million for the runner-up with the 10th-place finisher earning $500,000. Dustin Johnson led last year’s FedExCup standings through the Wyndham Championship, just 83 points ahead of Justin Thomas.
- Including the Wyndham Rewards Top 10, there will be a doubling of FedExCup total bonus money available to players, from $35 million to $70 million.
2019 World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play Preview via PGA TOUR