WGC Dell Match Play Championship 2018: Essential stats for this week's bonanza

Paul Casey: The in-form Englishman has plenty of matchplay pedigree
Paul Casey: A two-time WGC Match Play runner-up and a winner in Florida earlier this month
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Most of the world's top 64 players have journeyed to Texas for the WGC Dell Match Play Championship. Andy Swales supplies the stats for this week's prestigious event in Austin...

"Matchplay, involving top class players, appears to be a lottery at times, and is best illustrated by the fact than none of those teeing-up this week managed to survive the group stages in each of the last three years."

With The Masters just over two weeks away, most of golf's leading stars have made their way to Texas for the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play tournament.

Starting Wednesday, it will be the third successive season that this World Golf Championship event has been held at Austin Country Club.

Designed by Pete Dye, the course was opened in 1984, although the club itself dates back to 1899, since when it has moved location on two occasions.

Low-lying, with sizeable greens, the layout meanders close to the south bank of the Colorado River.

As with each of the past three instalments, the 64 players are divided into 16 groups of four.

Only the group winners remain in town for the weekend's knock-out phase, with the eventual champion taking home a cheque for more than $1.6m.

Despite the huge prize money on offer, five players have turned down the opportunity to compete this week.

They are Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott and Brooks Koepka.

Stenson has indicated he is not a fan of the four-man group format, which became part of this event in 2015.

The Swede has not teed-up in the WGC Matchplay since it moved to Austin and, together with Rose, does not believe this style of tournament will benefit his preparations ahead of next month's Masters in Georgia.

Rose, Scott and Fowler, who is the highest-ranked American taking a rest, also stayed away last year, while reigning US Open champion Koepka has still not recovered from suffering a torn tendon in his left wrist.

Vagaries of Matchplay

From a betting point of view, trying to select a winner is more difficult than normal, when it comes to matchplay.

Matchplay, involving top class players, appears to be a lottery at times, and is best illustrated by the fact than none of those teeing-up this week managed to survive the group stages in each of the last three years.

Even a player of the stature of reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia, has only once reached the quarter-finals of this tournament in 15 attempts.

That said, despite the unpredictable nature of matchplay, the tournament more often than not crowns one of the game's top stars.

Kings of Matchplay

Finding momentum early in the week is always vital when matches are contested over 18 holes.

So who are the current Kings of Matchplay, from this week's group of players?

Dustin Johnson, the reigning champion, also reached the last eight in 2016.

Jason Day is a two-time winner of this tournament, while reaching the semi-finals on one other occasion. But when the Aussie was defending his titles in 2015 and 2017, he finished bottom of his group.

Rory McIlroy has been both a winner and runner-up at the WGC Matchplay Championship, and will travel to Texas on the back of his excellent victory on Sunday at Bay Hill.

The 28-year-old's success in Florida was his first title in over 18 months, and an in-form McIlroy will certainly intimidate most of those playing in Austin this week.

Paul Casey, similar to McIlory, is another confident golfer right now. The 40-year-old collected his first PGA Tour title for nine years, when winning at Innisbrook two weeks ago.

The Englishman has twice been a runner-up in this event - albeit as far back as 2009 and 2010 - and he has twice safely negotiated the group stages during the past three years, which represents a good run in this tournament.

Former winner Matt Kuchar is the only golfer, among those in Texas this week, to have reached the last 16 in four successive years during the past decade.

And one other name to be thrown into the ring is that of Patrick Reed.

Although the American has never gone further than the last 16, in four previous attempts, he does have good current form, as he searches for his first Tour win since August 2016.

He also possesses an excellent record when representing the United States in both the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, boasting an overall tally of 12 points from 19 matches.

Course Form Page:

RU - runner-up; SF - semi-finalist; QF - quarter-finalist; L16 (beaten in last 16). Same applies for L32 and L64.

Gp-2 (finished second in group). Same applies for Gp-3 & Gp-4.

Courses:

2016/17 - Austin; 2015 - Harding Park; 2011/14 - The Golf Club at Dove Mountain; 2007/08 - The Gallery GC at Dove Mountain

*Note: Player list includes reserves

Position

  • 1–5
  • 6–15
  • 16–25
Player W11 W10 W9 W8 W7 W6 W5 W4 W3 W2 W1
Dustin Johnson 7 16 2 9 1
Justin Thomas 2 1 9 17 14 22
Jon Rahm 20 26 11 29 1 2
Jordan Spieth MC 14 9 20 MC 18 9
Hideki Matsuyama 49 Wd 12 4
Sergio Garcia 4 7 33 32 1
Jason Day 22 2 1
Tommy Fleetwood 26 14 4 37 6 1
Paul Casey 1 12 49 8 9
Rory McIlroy 1 MC 59 20 MC 2 3
Tyrrell Hatton 69 3 MC 3 15
Marc Leishman 7 37 MC 31 8 47 7
Alexander Noren 36 14 3 16 21 2
Phil Mickelson 1 6 2 5 45 MC
Pat Perez 20 41 35 29 21 4
Matt Kuchar 40 58 26 62 5 32
Rafa Cabrera-Bello 3 29 26 26 6 40
Brian Harman 54 5 33 MC 20 4 3
Patrick Reed 7 2 37 MC MC 17 23 MC
Xander Schauffele 18 9 17 MC 32 22
Francesco Molinari 26 25 MC 40 45
Charley Hoffman 14 MC 20 41 Wd 26 35
Branden Grace 8 30 37 20 37 15 2
Gary Woodland MC 50 49 MC 1 12 7
Louis Oosthuizen MC 16 30 24 MC 49
Ross Fisher MC 46 45 2
Kiradech Aphibarnrat MC 1 5 68 1 27 51 22
Daniel Berger 14 29 MC 11 14 11
Matthew Fitzpatrick MC MC 30 MC 3
Tony Finau MC 27 2 MC 6 32
Patrick Cantlay 30 4 35 51 15
Kevin Kisner MC 29 MC MC 50 25 17
Kevin Chappell 7 30 20 8 31 6 21
Bubba Watson 66 9 1 35 40 MC
Brendan Steele 20 49 3 29 20 29
Hao Tong Li 54 63 53 MC 1 MC
Webb Simpson 8 37 5 MC 36 4
Adam Hadwin 12 9 6 43 35 3 32
Thomas Pieters 37 13 68 32 5
Satoshi Kodaira MC 54 21 2 2 MC
Dylan Frittelli 55 11 5 6 19 20
Jason Dufner MC 55 17 36 18 11
Chez Reavie MC 52 73 2 2 36 18
Jhonattan Vegas 20 72 MC MC 11 7
Yuta Ikeda MC 46 39 35 MC
Cameron Smith MC 46 6 48 20 18 17
Patton Kizzire MC 12 MC 31 42 Won 15
Charl Schwartzel MC 49 48 68 15
Si Woo Kim MC 59 MC 62 35 58 10
Bernd Wiesberger 30 MC MC 32 15
Kyle Stanley 14 25 MC MC 51 10 30
Yusaku Miyazato 60 11 27 5 40 MC
Russell Henley 58 24 15 MC MC 17
Zach Johnson 26 16 57 20 14
James Hahn 58 14 26 11 45 36 2
Alexander Levy 4 55 4 7
Peter Uihlein 66 37 MC 26 52 MC 17 MC
Ian Poulter 41 MC MC 52 6 MC
Shubhankar Sharma 7 9 MC MC 1 61 48
Kevin Na 36 2 20 48 42 MC
Charles Howell 14 40 MC 37 6 20 32
Joost Luiten 9 37 1 11 MC 48
Keegan Bradley 26 31 49 MC 43 5 39
Luke List 7 16 2 26 26 12 MC MC
Julian Suri MC 48 MC 68 MC 63
Bill Haas 49 26 54 MC MC
Brandt Snedeker MC 31 MC 20 23 45 MC
Ryan Moore 5 MC 49 9 MC
Player 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
Dustin Johnson Won QF Gp-2 L64 L64 L16 L64 L64 L64
Justin Thomas Gp-3 Gp-4
Jon Rahm RU
Jordan Spieth Gp-2 L16 Gp-2 QF
Hideki Matsuyama Gp-4 Gp-2 L16 L32
Sergio Garcia Gp-2 Gp-2 Gp-3 L16 L32 L64 SF L64 L32
Jason Day Gp-4 Won Gp-4 Won SF L32 L16
Tommy Fleetwood Gp-4 QF
Paul Casey L16 Gp-4 QF L32 RU RU L16
Rory McIlroy Gp-2 SF Won L32 L64 RU L32 L32 QF
Tyrrell Hatton Gp-2
Marc Leishman L16 Gp-4 L16 L64
Alexander Noren QF L32 L64
Phil Mickelson QF Gp-2 L32 L16 L32
Pat Perez Gp-2 L32 L64
Matt Kuchar Gp-2 L16 Gp-3 L16 Won QF SF L32
Rafa Cabrera-Bello Gp-2 SF L32 L64
Brian Harman
Patrick Reed Gp-3 L16 Gp-2 L32
Xander Schauffele
Francesco Molinari Gp-4 Gp-3 L64 L64 L32 L64 L64
Charley Hoffman Gp-3 Gp-2 L64
Branden Grace Gp-3 Gp-2 L16 L64 L64
Gary Woodland Gp-3 RU L64 L64
Louis Oosthuizen Gp-2 RU QF QF L32 L32 L64 L64
Ross Fisher QF L32 L64 SF
Kiradech Aphibarnrat Gp-2 L64
Daniel Berger Gp-3 Gp-4
Matthew Fitzpatrick Gp-2 Gp-3
Tony Finau
Patrick Cantlay
Kevin Kisner Gp-2 Gp-3
Kevin Chappell Gp-3
Bubba Watson L16 Gp-2 Gp-2 L16 L16 L32 SF
Brendan Steele Gp-2
Hao Tong Li
Webb Simpson Gp-4 Gp-2 L16 QF L64
Adam Hadwin
Thomas Pieters Gp-3 Gp-2
Satoshi Kodaira
Dylan Frittelli
Jason Dufner Gp-3 Gp-3 Gp-3 L16 L64 L64
Chez Reavie
Jhonattan Vegas Gp-2
Yuta Ikeda Gp-4 L64 L64
Cameron Smith
Patton Kizzire L16
Charl Schwartzel Gp-2 Gp-2 L16 L32 L64 L32 L32 L16 L32
Si Woo Kim Gp-2
Bernd Wiesberger Gp-2 Gp-3 Gp-3 L64
Kyle Stanley L32
Yusaku Miyazato
Russell Henley Gp-3 L32
Zach Johnson L16 L16 Gp-2 L64 L64 L64 L64 L32 L32 L64
James Hahn
Alexander Levy Gp-4
Peter Uihlein
Ian Poulter Gp-3 L64 SF L64 L64 Won L16 L32
Shubhankar Sharma
Kevin Na L16 Gp-2 Gp-3 L64 L64
Charles Howell L16 L32 L32
Joost Luiten Gp-3 Gp-2 L64
Keegan Bradley Gp-4 L64 L64 L32
Luke List
Julian Suri
Bill Haas SF L16 Gp-2 L32 L64 L64 L64
Brandt Snedeker Gp-2 L16 Gp-4 L32 L16 L64
Ryan Moore Gp-2 QF Gp-4 L32 L64 QF L64
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