The 2019 WGC Dell Technologies Match Play Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is the 2019 WGC Dell Technologies Match Play? Wednesday 27th to Sunday 31st of March 2019

Where is the 2019 WGC Dell Technologies Match Play? Austin Country Club, Austin, Texas, USA

What is the total prize fund of the 2019 WGC Dell Technologies Match Play? $10,250,000

What television channel can I watch the 2019 WGC Dell Technologies Match Play on in the UK? Sky Sports Golf

Where can I stream the 2019 WGC Dell Technologies Match Play in the UK? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the tournament online via Sky Go

Where can I get tickets for the 2019 WGC Dell Technologies Match Play? https://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/wgc-dell-technologies-match-play/tickets.html

What is the course yardage at Austin Country Club? 7,108 yards

What is the par at Austin Country Club? 71

What is the predicted weather for the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play? Low winds all week with the group stages play (Wednesday to Friday) being cloudy with occasional sun and highs of 22c. However, thunderstorms are highly likely during Saturday with cooler conditions set over the weekend meaning a strong chance of delays.

THE HISTORY

The second World Golf Championship of the 2019 season heads to Texas for the fourth year to host the match play. The world’s top 64 golfers – excluding absentees Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott for the second straight year – tee it up in 16 groups of four players playing round-robin matches with the winners of each group advancing to the knockout stages. Satoshi Kodaira and Luke List make up the field for one of the most exciting championships in the golfing year.

With the world’s best shooting it out over 18 holes, any player has the ability to win this great championship and over the years there have been numerous surprise lower seeds to reach the final – Gary Woodland 2015 and Kevin Kisner in 2018 – to name a few. However, the biggest names typically come out on top with the average winning seed being 11.5 compared to the average runner-up seed 20.6 – nine places higher. The highest winning seed since 2019 was Bubba Watson (ranked 35) whereas the top ranked seed has been victorious twice (2015 and 2017).

On average, the winning score (number of holes remaining) is just 2.2, suggesting the final is always a close contest. Watson’s 2018 7&6 victory was the largest winning margin since 2008 and the second highest in the championship’s history.

THE FAVOURITES

Paul Casey

The Englishman successfully defended last week’s Valspar Championship to win his third PGA Tour title and became the third straight European winner on tour in the process. The 41-year-old is arguably in the best form of his career and heads to the match-play after a T3 at the WGC Mexico just two starts previously. Casey has a strong record in this event, finishing runner-up in both 2009 and 2010, and a T9 here in 2017 suggests the course suits his game to contend again this week.

Ian Poulter

Another 40+ year old Englishman who is also showing some of the best form of his career heads to a championship he has won in 2010. Having missed 2016 and 2017 through injury and a loss of form, Poulter returned last year to finish T5 in a format that he has shown to be clinical in through the Ryder Cup and WGC. A T3 at WGC Mexico and two solid opening rounds in The Players that saw him head to the weekend in contention shows his form is exactly where it needs to be to collect his third WGC crown and fourth PGA Tour title.

Brooks Koepka

The former world number one has started the season slowly with just two top tens to his name, but as a three-time major champion who turns up on the biggest stages, he’ll be looking to show some better form with Augusta just around the corner. The American missed last year due to injury but did record a T9 and T5 in his previous two starts. A WGC is certainly a championship he would want to add to his CV and the format suits his aggressive style.

THE OUTSIDERS

Alex Noren

The Swede is yet to win on American soil but has showed signs that a victory is near having recorded a trio of top threes during 2018, and perhaps should have converted one of those chances. Nonetheless, the 11-time European Tour winner has the pedigree to blow any opponent away and with a T5 finish here in 2017 that was followed up by a third place in 2018, he certainly thrives in this format and around this golf course. His form so far this year has been poor with two missed cuts from his previous two starts. However, match play is the ideal set-up to turn his game around and put himself in contention.

Louis Oosthuizen

The South African produced a remarkable final round at last week’s Valspar Championship, hitting just six greens in regulation to shoot 69 and finish T2, his best finish on the PGA Tour since August 2017. The past major champion has been so close on several occasions to adding to his win tally but is yet to get over the line and claim that second PGA Tour victory and first on American soil. A runner-up finish here in 2016 and T9 last year shows his liking for this format and with the form he heads in with, it could see him finally claim a championship he thoroughly deserves.