WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play 2019 Preview (& Players To Watch)
This week brings the year's second World Golf Championship as all but two of the world's top 66 golfers tee it up at Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas for the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play.
As we edge ever closer to the season's first major championship at Augusta National, this joint PGA Tour and European Tour event offers another chance to qualify the Masters for a few undoubtedly tense and edgy golfers.
An exciting tournament in its own right, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play sees the world's best golfers pit their match play wits against each other in pursuit of the $10.25M tournament prize fund.
While we're all but guaranteed us some incredible golf this week, to help whet your appetite a little further, check out our preview below...
Course: Austin Country Club
Yardage: 7,108 yds
Austin Country Club has played host to this particular event since 2016 and the Pete Dye design provides two distinctly different nines.
The front nine plays through terrain typical of the surrounding Texas hill country, while the back nine plays alongside Lake Austin and has more of a 'lowlands' feel.
Last Year's Champion - Bubba Watson
Having secured his first of three wins in 2018 just a few weeks prior at the Genesis Open, Bubba Watson arrived at Austin Country Club in fine form and aiming for a second career WGC victory.
Playing superb golf throughout, Watson navigated through the group stages with two wins and a tie and quickly found himself in the semi-finals where he would come up against a highly in-form opponent in Justin Thomas. The two-time Masters champion would prevail in 16 holes to both tie up a final spot against Kevin Kisner and also delay Thomas' move to world number one.
The final against Kisner rarely got out of the starting blocks as a contest with Watson racing into an early lead and sealing the deal early on with a final 7&6 scoreline.
Tiger Woods tees it up this week at an event he has won three times (when called the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship) and one he has not played since back in 2013. It's unlikely that his haul of 18 WGC titles will ever be surpassed and, in his quest to bag a 19th, he will face an all-American grouping that includes Patrick Cantlay, Brandt Snedeker and Aaron Wise.
Four separate major champions combine to create probably the tastiest looking group with Jason Day, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson and Jim Furyk all needing to bring their A-game if they are to proceed to the knockouts.
Another quartet where it's hard to call a winner comes in the form of Xander Schauffele facing off against three separate 2018 European Ryder Cup champions in Tyrrell Hatton, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Lee Westwood.
Check out the full list of groups here.
Who wins it?
Leading contender: Jason Day
Despite missing the cut at last week's Valspar Championship in Florida, Jason Day has been in pretty impressive form this year.
Placing inside the top ten in three of his six tournaments in 2019 so far, and with an impressive 69% win rate in match play singles throughout his golfing career (24-11), we like the 2015 PGA champion's chances this week in Austin.
Worth a look: Francesco Molinari
Another golfer who will be firmly on our radar this week is the Champion Golfer of 2018, Francesco Molinari.
Though with a somewhat more modest 44% win rate in career singles (14-16-2), we expect that this half of the 'MoliWood' bromance (with Tommy Fleetwood) from Le Golf National could carry stunning match play form over to this week's event. The likeable Italian could be the man for the big occasion, once more.
Who wins the second WGC event of the year? Who needs a good performance heading into The Masters? Let us know below.
Are you ready for the new season kicking off? Give your golf game a boost by joining Hole19 on iOS or Android below. You can also learn more about the game-enhancing benefits of Hole19 Premium.
Are you ready for the new season kicking off? Give your golf game a boost by joining Hole19 on iOS or Android below. You can also learn more about the game-enhancing abilities of Hole19 Premium.