2016 WGC Dell Match Play preview: Format, groups and Aussie match-ups

Outside of the majors, the WGC Match Play is one of our favourite golf tournaments of the year.

Dell Match Play

The WGC Dell Match Play begins this Wednesday (Thursday morning Australian time) at Austin Country Club (after a year at Harding Park in San Francisco). Five Australians are in the 64-man field including 2014 WGC Match Play champion Jason Day who is coming off his superb victory last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The format
The best 64 players in the world (according to the world golf rankings) have been divided up into 16 groups of four (see below). Each player will play three round robin matches over the first three days with the winner of each group progressing to the knock-out round of 16 beginning on Saturday morning. The two undefeated players playing in an 18-hole match on Sunday afternoon.

There is one small tweak to the format from last year is that there will be no extra holes to determine the winner of a match in the round robin matches. Playing out all matches to a result meant that there were many dead-rubber matches on the third day last year.

And we know what can happen without anything to play for – we’re looking at you take Miguel Angel Jimenez and Keegan Bradley.

The Australians
Jason Day isn’t the only Australian running hot coming into the tournament. Adam Scott is in great form with two wins in his last three starts, Marcus Fraser won the Maybank Championship Malaysia just last month and has a dangerous short game that will could topple anyone in match play, and Marc Leishman has turned a recent form slump around and peaking nicely ahead of next month’s Masters.

Matt Jones is the only Australian in the field out of form but I wouldn’t put it past the Australian Open champion to come good this week. Jones is a fighter on the golf course and this match play event may have come at the perfect time to get his confidence back.

FoxSports has all the action2016 WGC Dell Match Play Australian TV Times

Australian day 1 match-ups (Full scores and matches)
Jason Day v Graeme McDowell
Marc Leishman v Ryan Moore
Adam Scott v Thomas Pieters
Marc Fraser v Zach Johnson
Matt Jones v Louis Oosthuizen

Groups

Group 1
Jordan Spieth (1)
Justin Thomas (31)
Victor Dubuisson (39)
Jamie Donaldson (51)
Group 2
Jason Day (2)
Paul Casey (23)
Thongchai Jaidee (36)
Graeme McDowell (62)
Group 3
Rory McIlroy (3)
Kevin Na (26)
Smylie Kaufman (46)
Thorbjørn Olesen (64)
Group 4
Bubba Watson (4)
J.B. Holmes (21)
Emiliano Grillo (33)
Patton Kizzire (63)

Group 5
Rickie Fowler (5)
Byeong-Hun An (27)
Scott Piercy (47)
Jason Dufner (58)
Group 6
Adam Scott (6)
Bill Haas (30)
Chris Wood (41)
Thomas Pieters (55)
Group 7
Justin Rose (7)
Matt Kuchar (28)
Anirban Lahiri (48)
Fabian Gomez (57)
Group 8
Dustin Johnson (8)
Jimmy Walker (22)
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (37)
Robert Streb (49)

Group 9
Patrick Reed (9)
Phil Mickelson (17)
Matthew Fitzpatrick (42)
Daniel Berger (53)
Group 10
Danny Willett (10)
Brooks Koepka (18)
Billy Horschel (40)
Jaco Van Zyl (50)
Group 11
Branden Grace (11)
Russell Knox (32)
David Lingmerth (38)
Chris Kirk (54)
Group 12
Hideki Matsuyama (12)
Kevin Kisner (20)
Soren Kjeldsen (43)
Rafa Cabrera Bello (52)

Group 13
Sergio Garcia (13)
Marc Leishman (25)
Ryan Moore (45)
Lee Westwood (59)
Group 14
Zach Johnson (14)
Shane Lowry (24)
Martin Kaymer (44)
Marcus Fraser (60)
Group 15
Brandt Snedeker (15)
Charl Schwartzel (19)
Danny Lee (34)
Charley Hoffman (56)
Group 16
Louis Oosthuizen (16)
Andy Sullivan (29)
Bernd Wiesberger
Matt Jones (61)

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