Golf

Might we see Tiger vs. Rory on the Match Play? It will not be straightforward, but it surely’s doable

AUSTIN, Texas — Gone is the one-and-done side of the WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play Championship, a state of affairs that created nice drama on the primary day but in addition meant the opportunity of some massive stars going residence very early.

Modified to a round-robin format in 2015, now everybody sticks round via Friday, taking away a few of the angst however nonetheless with the data that a loss in any of the three matchups leaves your future as much as others.

And so with the 16 teams of 4 gamers every set to start on Wednesday, listed here are a number of highlights:

That is some main expertise

Predicting match play is an unhealthy train, however clearly some teams are simpler than others. The toughest? Maybe the one led by Jason Day, who has gained the WGC Match Play twice — at each codecs. He’s joined by Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson and Jim Furyk.

Tiger Woods will face Patrick Cantlay, Brandt Snedeker and Aaron Smart this week through the WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play Championship, his first expertise within the new format.

The common age of the group is 42.25, by far the very best of another.

One other characteristic of the group: All are main champions, and no different group has greater than two, whereas 5 have none.

The highest seeds

Dustin Johnson, who gained the Match Play in 2017, and Justin Rose are Nos. 1 and a pair of. And if the previous is any indication, every could possibly be in for a great run. Because the round-robin format started in 2015, Nos. 1 and a pair of within the match have a document of 32-7-1.

Tiger’s job

Possibly it does not appear all that powerful, as Patrick Cantlay and Aaron Smart have mixed for 2 PGA Tour victories, with Brandt Snedeker probably the most skilled participant within the group. However nothing must be taken without any consideration with Woods, who will face Smart, 22, on Wednesday.

Even at his greatest, Woods was not a lock on this occasion, 3 times getting bumped out on the primary day within the outdated format (Peter O’Malley, 2002; Thomas Bjorn, 2011; Charles Howell III, 2013).

And Cantlay, Smart and Snedeker are definitely succesful. Cantlay is ranked 11th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained, whereas Smart in 10th in birdie common. Snedeker is called a robust putter. Over 18 holes of match play …

Trying forward

… but when Tiger does make it out of the group, he is taking a look at a possible Candy 16 match up with Rory McIlroy, who leads the fourth group. The winner of the group led by Woods and the winner of the group led by McIlroy would meet Saturday morning.

It is nothing just like the Ryder Cup, however. . ..

USA vs. Europe

There are some matches which have a Ryder Cup really feel:

Wednesday: Xander Schauffele vs. Lee Westwood; Luke Checklist vs. McIlroy; Justin Thomas vs. Lucas Bjerregaard; Keegan Bradley vs. Matt Wallace; Mickelson vs. Stenson; Gary Woodland vs. Eddie Pepperell; Webb Simpson vs. Thorbjorn Olesen; Brooks Koepka vs. Tom Lewis; Kevin Kisner vs. Ian Poulter; Bryson DeChambeau vs. Russell Knox.

Thursday: Patrick Reed vs. Shane Lowry; Andrew Putnam vs. Sergio Garcia; J.B. Holmes vs. Jon Rahm; Schauffele vs. Tyrrell Hatton; Checklist vs. Matthew Fitzpatrick; Justin Thomas vs. Wallace; Bradley vs. Bjerregaard; Charles Howell vs. Paul Casey; Keith Mitchell vs. Poulter; Kyle Stanley vs. Tommy Fleetwood.

Friday: Reed vs. Garcia; Putnam vs. Lowry; Matt Kuchar vs. Rahm; Schauffele vs. Rafa Cabrera Bello; Furyk vs. Stenson; Woodland vs. Rose; Simpson vs. Francesco Molinari; Koepka vs. Alex Noren; Tony Finau vs. Poulter.

The way it works

A participant competes towards the opposite three in his group over three days. The participant with the most effective document advances to the knockout stage. That begins Saturday, with 16 gamers left standing. Within the occasion of a tie as soon as the occasion reaches the spherical of 16, these gamers would have a hole-by-hole playoff to resolve who advances. The 18-hole matches Wednesday via Friday can finish in ties.

The highway to Augusta

There are 11 gamers within the subject who haven’t certified for the Masters, which can invite the highest 50 on the planet who’re in any other case not exempt on the conclusion of the occasion. Shane Lowry and Justin Harding maintain down spots 48 and 49, with 9 extra gamers outdoors of the highest 50.

For instance, Furyk — who’s ranked 54th — wants a minimal of 1 win and two attracts or two wins to have a shot on the prime 50. Lee Westwood, who’s 65th, wants no less than a fourth-place end.

Rating factors, FedEx Cup factors and prize cash for many who do not make the ultimate 16 is decided by the most effective information in group play.

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