The first of four World Golf Championships in 2022 is on tap this weekend, with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event returning to Austin Country Club in Austin, TX. Tournament play begins on Wednesday, March 23rd, and concludes on Sunday, March 27th.
Billy Horschel returns to defend his title after defeating Scottie Scheffler 2&1. The victory was Horschel’s sixth PGA Tour victory and first WGC event title.
The tournament winner takes home $2.16 million of the $12 million purse and the coveted 550 FedEx Cup points.
Match Play Format
Unlike a traditional four-day event, the tournament begins on Wednesday and is split into two phases. The pros are divided into 16 groups of four players and play in a round-robin format on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. One point is awarded for a win, and a half-point for a tie, with the winner of the group advancing to the knockout stage.
The second phase is played over the weekend as a knockout tournament with the 16 group winners. The round of 16 and quarterfinals are played on Saturday, with the semifinals, third-place, and final played on Sunday. All matches are played over 18 holes.
Austin Country Club
This year marks the sixth year that Austin Country Club has hosted the event. The par-71 track stretches approximately 7,100 in length and is a challenging layout designed by Pete Dye. The current site of Austin Country Club opened in 1984.
Players can expect deep pot bunkers and undulated turf with two distinct nine-hole stretches. On the front nine, you get the Texas hill country, while the back nine showcases the lowlands near Lake Austin.
Like all World Golf Championships, The field is easily set based on the top 64 players in the Official World Golf Rankings ten days prior to the tournament. If one of the players ranked inside the top 64 elects not to participate in the event, the field is filled with the next available player in the rankings.
The five top players in the world, along with 64 of the top 69 players, will be teeing it up this week. One notable player returning to action is Bryson DeChambeau, who’s been sidelined with a wrist and hip injury since the Farmers Insurance Open.
11-first time players are making their tournament debut, highlighted by first-time TOUR winners Seamus Power, Lucas Herbert, Tom Hoge, and Sepp Straka. Recent winners of the tournament joining Horschel include Kevin Kisner, Bubba Watson, and Dustin Johnson.
The match play event presents bettors with a different strategy compared to your typical four-day event. For the WGC Match Play, you’ll want to put an emphasis on matchups rather than props and outright plays.
This tournament has provided an array of winners, from a bomber like D.J. to the precision play of Kisner. The course does not suit a certain type of player so focus on the player’s head-to-head track record.
Jon Rahm (+1200) has the best pre-tournament odds to win the WGC, followed by Viktor Hovland and Justin Thomas at +1400.
Below are our favorite WGC Championships predictions:
Group 7 winner – Tony Finau (+250) over Xander Schauffele, Takumi Kanaya, and Lucas Herbert
Group 9 winner – Talor Gooch (+225) over Bryson DeChambeau, Lee Westwood, and Richard Bland
Group 11 winner – Jordan Spieth (+210) over Adam Scott, Justin Rose, and Keegan Bradley
Day 1 Matchup Plays
Harold Varner III (+115) over Shane Lowery
Daniel Berger (-150) over S.W. Kim
Jason Kokrak (+105) over Sergio Garcia
Kevon Na (+115) over Russell Henley