Former Texas Longhorn, No. 1 Scottie Scheffler set for WGC-Dell Match Play

Zachary Davis, General Sports Reporter

The World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play tournament is coming to Austin this week in a five-day showdown of one-on-one golf at Austin Country Club.

The WGC-Dell Match Play tournament, established in 1999, is the only match-play style tournament on the Professional Golfers’ Association Tour and the only match-play tournament these pros will play all season.

“Unlike a lot of other sports, match play in golf is a bit of a tossup,” No. 59 Rickie Fowler said. “Yes, the No. 1 seed against the No. 64 seed — No. 1’s going to win the majority of the time, but it’s 18 holes and anything can really happen.”

The field of golfers comes out to be an even 64, with some of the best on the PGA Tour highlighting the field. Some include top-ranked Texas alum Scottie Scheffler, No. 2 Jon Rahm, No. 3 Rory McIlroy and No. 4 Patrick Cantlay among others.

The tournament is formatted into two phases. The first phase is a round-robin style where three rounds occur across 16 groups of four, with pool play matches scheduled for Wednesday through Friday. 

Players will compete in a one-on-one 18-hole round against each of the players in their group in the form of match play. The seedings for the group is determined on how the World Golf Rankings looks 10 days prior to the tournament and who opts in and out of the competition.

After the three-day round robin is done, the player on top of their respective group moves on to phase two of the tournament, the knockout rounds. 

The Round of 16 and quarterfinals will be played on Saturday, while the semifinals, third place match and finals are played on Sunday. Unlike other tournaments on the PGA Tour, four golfers can potentially play 126 holes of golf by the end of Sunday. A typical four-day tournament on the PGA Tour is only 72 holes, 54 less than what the final four golfers could play. 

“It might be a little bit more tiring, especially if you go extra holes quite a few times,” No. 79 Cam Davis said. “But I think by the time you get to Sunday, you’re playing well. You’ll still feel pretty good.”

Scheffler, coming off his win at THE PLAYERS Championship last week, looks to defend his trophy won last year at the WGC match play tournament. 

“I definitely feel more comfortable visiting Austin,” Scheffler said. “When it comes to all the other stuff around a tournament, this tournament’s one of our favorites just because of the people we get to spend time with throughout the week.”

Scheffler has never won in back-to-back weeks. The only other golfers to win the WGC-Dell Match Play multiple times are Tiger Woods with three wins, and Geoff Ogilvy and Jason Day with two.

“I love match play. I like the simplicity of it,” Scheffler said. “All you have to do is just go out there and try and beat the guy that’s in front of you, and if you don’t, you lose, and if you beat him, you win. So the simplicity of it is what I enjoy.”