2021 WGC Dell Match Play Preview

2021 WGC Dell Match Play Preview Defending Champion Kevin Kisner
  • Dates: March 22-28, 2021
  • Where: Austin, Texas
  • Course: Austin Country Club (35-36–71/7,108)
  • Defending champion: Kevin Kisner
  • Purse: $10,500,000/$1,820,000
  • FedExCup: 550 points to the winner
  • Format: Match play
  • Field: 64

Things to Know

  • The World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, the only official head-to-head match play event on the PGA TOUR schedule, returns to the PGA TOUR schedule after being canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19
  • 64 of the top 69 players in the Official World Golf Ranking as of March 15 are in the field, including each of the top 10
  • Reigning FedExCup champion and World No. 1 Dustin Johnson seeks his seventh WGC victory; Johnson’s six WGC titles are second only to Tiger Woods (18)
  • 2018 semifinalist Justin Thomas makes first start on the PGA TOUR since winning THE PLAYERS Championship

Format

  • The 64-player field is divided into 16 four-player groups for round robin competition
  • Players receive one point for a win in group play and half a point for a tie
  • The player in each group with the highest point total at the end of group play advances to the 16-player, single-elimination matches

For Groups and Brackets for the 2021 WGC Dell Match Play, follow the link.

A closer look at the field

  • Nine of the top 10 in the FedExCup standings (all but No. 9 Brooks Koepka)
  • 64 of the top 69 in the Official World Golf Ranking as of March 15, 2021, including each of the top 10
  • Five players who qualified but will not compete: Brooks Koepka, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Tiger Woods, Gary Woodland
  • Five players outside the top 64 who completed the field: Ian Poulter, Erik van Rooyen, Adam Long, J.T. Poston, Dylan Frittelli
  • Five FedExCup champions: Billy Horschel (2014), Jordan Spieth (2015), Justin Thomas (2017), Rory McIlroy (2016, 2019), Dustin Johnson (2020)
  • Seven past champions: Ian Poulter (2010), Matt Kuchar (2013), Rory McIlroy (2015), Jason Day (2014, 2016), Dustin Johnson (2017), Bubba Watson (2018), Kevin Kisner (2019)
  • 22 players making their WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play debut: Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Corey Conners, Talor Gooch, Lanto Griffin, Max Homa, Viktor Hovland, Mackenzie Hughes, Sungjae Im, Jason Kokrak, Adam Long, Robert MacIntyre, Collin Morikawa, Sebastian Munoz, Joaquin Niemann, Carlos Ortiz, Victor Perez, J.T. Poston, Antoine Rozner, Scottie Scheffler, Erik van Rooyen, Matthew Wolff, Will Zalatoris
  • 50 PGA TOUR winners (229 total wins), 13 major championship winners (20 total wins) and 13 World Golf Championships winners (26 total wins)
  • 17 countries represented, led by the United States (32 players) and England (8)

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and the FedExCup

  • The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is the 25th event in the 2020-21 season comprised of 50 official events
  • 10 of the 13 winners of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in the FedExCup era have advanced to the season-ending TOUR Championship, including a streak of nine in a row dating back to 2011
  • No player has won the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and gone on to win the FedExCup in the same season (best result: Luke Donald, No. 3, 2011)

Current FedExCup standings

PositionPlayerPointsWinsTop-10sPoints BehindStarts
1Bryson DeChambeau1,5552508
2Justin Thomas1,497155810
3Patrick Cantlay1,2341432110
4Viktor Hovland1,2041435111
5Dustin Johnson1,114144417
6Xander Schauffele1,1100544510
7Harris English1,0001555512
8Tony Finau9800557511
9Brooks Koepka960145959
10Joaquin Niemann9320362312

A look back at the 2019 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

In 2019, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play champion Kevin Kisner holed a 20-foot birdie putt to close out Matt Kuchar, 3 and 2, to capture his third PGA TOUR title and first World Golf Championships victory. In the 2019-20 season, the South Carolina native made 21 starts, qualified for each of the three FedExCup Playoffs events and finished No. 23 in the FedExCup standings. He is currently is ranked No. 36 in the world.

  • Kevin Kisner collected his third PGA TOUR title in his 196th start at the age of 35 years, 1 month, 16 days
  • Captured his first World Golf Championships title and third PGA TOUR title
  • Became the first player to lose his opening match but go on to win the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

Final-Round Matchups

  • Championship Match – Kevin Kisner (48) defeated Matt Kuchar (23), 3 and 2
  • Consolation Match – Francesco Molinari (7) defeated Lucas Bjerregaard (50), 4 and 2

Kisner round by round

  • RD. 1 – lost to Ian Poulter, 2-up RD. 2 – defeated Tony Finau, 2-up
  • RD. 3 – defeated Keith Mitchell, 2 and 1
  • RD. 4 – defeated Haotong Li, 6 and 5
  • QF – defeated Louis Oosthuizen, 2 and 1 SF – defeated Francesco Molinari, 1-up
  • CHAMPIONSHIP – defeated Matt Kuchar, 3 and 2

Additional Player Notes

Dustin Johnson

  • Seeks seventh World Golf Championships victory; six WGC titles are second only to Tiger Woods (18)
  • Holds the No. 1 seed for the fourth 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 and beat Jon Rahm 1-up in the Championship Match
  • Owns a career record of 15-14 over the course of 11 prior appearances

Justin Thomas

  • Making first start on the PGA TOUR since recent win at THE PLAYERS Championship, where he won by one stroke over Lee Westwood, earning his 14th PGA TOUR victory and first PLAYERS title
  • Two-time World Golf Championships winner (2018 and 2020 FedEx St. Jude Invitational)
  • Best WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play result was in 2018 (4th), falling 3 and 2 to eventual champion Bubba Watson in the Semifinals following a perfect record of 3-0-0 in group play and additional wins over Si Woo Kim (6 and 5) and Kyle Stanley (2 and 1)

Jon Rahm

  • World No. 3 seeks his first World Golf Championships victory
  • Advanced to the Championship Match in his tournament debut in 2017, falling to Dustin Johnson, 1-up
  • Did not advance past group play in 2018 and 2019
  • Owns six top-10s in 10 starts in 2020-21, including a T9 at his most recent start at THE PLAYERS Championship

Jordan Spieth

  • Making his seventh career start at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and has advanced out of group play once; best finish came in 2014 when he lost in the Quarterfinals to Ernie Els (4 and 2)
  • Owns a career record of 12-6-2 in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
  • 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 his freshman season

Rory McIlroy

  • Three-time World Golf Championships winner won the 2015 Dell Technologies Match Play at TPC Harding Park, which marked the first year the group play format was instituted
  • Owns an overall record of 27-12-2 in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
  • Has advanced past group play in two of four previous appearances at Austin Country Club; fell in the 2016 Consolation Match to Rafa Cabrera Bello, 3 and 2, and lost to Tiger Woods, 2 and 1, in the 2019 Round of 16

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Field includes three players that attended the University of Texas: Dylan Frittelli, Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth
  • Four players from Latin American countries are in the field, most in tournament history: Abraham Ancer (Mexico), Joaquin Niemann (Chile), Sebastian Munoz (Colombia), Carlos Ortiz (Mexico)

Impact

Although the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play footprint will be reduced, the event will remain steadfast in its charitable mission in support of the Austin community. Throughout the pandemic, giving back has remained at the heart of the tournament and has maintained a charitable presence in support of the First Tee® of Greater Austin and Dell Children’s Hospital. In just five short years, more than $4.5 million has been contributed within the Greater Austin community, including a $400,000 donation from the 2020 event that was cancelled following the onset of COVID-19.

Two young representatives from each of the tournament’s two charitable beneficiaries – Dell Children’s Hospital and First Tee® of Greater Austin – will participate in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Reveal Show:

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.

There are four World Golf Championships events. World Golf Championships, of and unto itself, is always plural. At second and all subsequent references, the tournament may be called the Dell Technologies Match Play. The Dell Technologies Match Play is the second World Golf Championships event of the 2020-21 PGA TOUR Season as preceded by the Workday Championship at The Concession (Florida, USA). The other WGCs include the FedEx St. Jude Invitational (Tennessee, USA) and the HSBC Champions (Shanghai, China).

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