The top 64 players in the world will contest the WGC Match Play this week in Austin, Texas. There are 16 groups of four players in a round-robin format. The player with the best record within each group moves onto the sudden-death quarter-final matches.
Here is each group with my pick to win in boldface: (Let me know how your bracket shapes up)
Group 1 – Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed, Cameron Young, Sebastian Munoz
None of these players is particularly hot at the moment. I would have gone with Reed given his match play bona fides, however, he is going through a particularly tough stretch at the moment so let’s go with the best player in the group.
Group 2 – Collin Morikawa, Jason Kokrak, Sergio Garcia, Robert MacIntryre
Morikawa is arguably within the top 3 or 5 players on the planet and is also skilled at match play but I am going with Garcia based on his historical strength in this format.
Group 3 – Viktor Hovland, Will Zalatoris, Cameron Tringale, Sepp Straka
I just love Hovland’s game and I am a bit suspect of Zalatoris’ putting when the real pressure is on.
Group 4 – Patrick Cantlay, Sunjae Im, Seamus Power, Keith Mitchell
Power had been trending over the past couple of months before a few MC’s but played well at the Players. Cantlay’s putting is just average on Bermuda greens.
Group 5 – Scottie Scheffler, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Ian Poulter
This should be an easy win for Scheffler given his great play of late.
Group 6 – Justin Thomas, Kevin Kisner, Marc Leishman, Luke List
This is a tough choice. Kisner is a strong match-play competitor with good results in this event and JT is just a bulldog in any format on any course. My head tells me Kisner but my gut tells me JT.
Group 7 – Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau, Lucas Herbert, Takumi Kanaya
Gotta go with Xander based on his generally strong play and the lake of recent results from the other three in this group.
Group 8 – Dustin Johnson, Max Homa, Matthew Wolff, Mackenzie Hughes
Homa has been one of the most consistent players over the past couple of months. Not sure DJ’s game is where he wants it at the moment.
Group 9 – Bryson DeChambeau, Talor Gooch, Lee Westwood, Richard Bland
Bryson is coming off an injury so has to be a little rusty. Gooch won his first tournament recently and seems to have gained commensurate confidence in his game.
Group 10 – Louis Oosthuizen, Paul Casey, Corey Conners, Alex Noren
This is the most wide-open group of the bunch. Casey will be tough to beat but I am going with fellow Canadian Conners.
Group 11 – Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Keegan Bradley
Bradley has been contending lately and not sure Spieth’s game is back just yet.
Group 12 – Billy Horschel, Thomas Pieters, Tom Hoge, Min Woo Lee
Horschel is the defending champion and is on form at the moment but Hoge is riding a wave of confidence after his first career win.
Group 13 – Tyrell Hatton, Daniel Berger, Si Woo Kim, Christian Bezuidenhout
I just like Bergers game and his tenacity a bit better than Hatton’s at the moment.
Group 14 – Joaquin Niemann, Kevin Na, Russel Henley, Maverick McNealy
It’s hard to go with anyone other than Niemann in this group but Henley could be close.
Group 15 – Abraham Ancer, Webb Simpson, Brian Harman, Bubba Watson
Harman had a T5 at Valspar but my gut tells me Simpson will prevail.
Group 16 – Brooks Koepka, Shane Lowry, Harold Varner III, Erik Van Rooyen
It’s a WGC but not sure this is a big enough event to get Koepka’s juices flowing. Varner is still a player that fades when he gets into contention and I have been waiting for Van Rooyen to breakthrough – this could be his week.