Match Play Arrives With Strong Field, Most Eyes On Tiger And Spieth

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With Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson playing golf at the highest level imaginable heading into the Masters, expect the focus this week to turn to Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth.

Woods has not played in the WGC Dell Match Play since its move to Austin and as Dan Kilbridge notes for Golfweek, seems due to take things up a notch in his Masters prep.

The gang debates whether this is good prep for Woods and Alan Shipnuck wonders if the new format guaranteeing three matches will dull Woods’ senses.

I think Tiger would have more adrenaline for the old win-or-go-home format. For him this is all about getting reps ahead of the Masters — actually winning matches will be a bonus.

For Spieth the UT grad returning the friendly confines of Austin, the struggles are on the course, not on the range, as he explains to Steve DiMeglio for Golfweek.

The lowdown on this week’s field where Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott are the two star players passing:

Star-studded field finalized for 2019 World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play

64 of the top 66 players in the Official World Golf Rankings are committed to play at Austin Country Club

AUSTIN, Texas – Sixty-four of the top 66 players from the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) have officially committed to the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, which will take place March 27-31 at Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas. The tournament will feature the game’s biggest stars from around the globe in a rare match-play format.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, 2018 FedExCup champion Justin Rose, reigning PGA TOUR Player of the Year Brooks Koepka, THE PLAYERS Championship 2019 winner Rory McIlroy, 80-time PGA TOUR winner Tiger Woods and former Texas Longhorn Jordan Spieth are among the notables heading to Austin. Woods, a three-time winner of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, is making his first start in the event since 2013.

The field includes players representing 17 different countries from across the globe. Final seeds for the 64-player field will be determined on Monday, March 25 when the week’s Official World Golf Rankings are released.  

Rank    Player                        Country

1          Dustin Johnson          USA

2          Justin Rose                ENG

3          Brooks Koepka          USA

4          Rory McIlroy              NIR

5          Justin Thomas           USA

6          Bryson DeChambeau  USA

7          Francesco Molinari   ITA

9          Xander Schauffele    USA

10        Jon Rahm                  ESP

11        Tommy Fleetwood   ENG

12        Jason Day                  AUS

13        Tiger Woods              USA

14        Tony Finau                USA

15        Paul Casey                 ENG

16        Patrick Reed              USA

17        Bubba Watson          USA

18        Marc Leishman         AUS

19        Patrick Cantlay          USA

20        Webb Simpson         USA

21        Phil Mickelson           USA

22        Matt Kuchar              USA

23        Gary Woodland         USA

24        Hideki Matsuyama    JPN

25        Cameron Smith         AUS

26        Sergio Garcia            ESP

27        Louis Oosthuizen      RSA

28        Alex Noren                SWE

30        Jordan Spieth            USA

31        Rafa Cabrera Bello    ESP

32        Ian Poulter                ENG

33        Keegan Bradley         USA

34        Matthew Fitzpatrick ENG

35        Matt Wallace            ENG

36        Eddie Pepperell         ENG

37        Tyrrell Hatton           ENG

38        Haotong Li                CHI

39        Henrik Stenson         SWE

40        Billy Horschel            USA

41        Kiradech Aphibarnrat  THA

42        Branden Grace          RSA

43        Kyle Stanley              USA

44        Charles Howell III      USA

45        J.B. Holmes               USA

46        Brandt Snedeker       USA

47        Shane Lowry             IRE

48        Justin Harding           RSA

49        Thorbjorn Olesen     DEN

50        Kevin Kisner              USA

51        Byeong Hun An         KOR

52        Lucas Bjerregaard     DEN

53        Andrew Putnam        USA

54        Emiliano Grillo          ARG

55        Si Woo Kim               USA

56        Chez Reavie              USA

57        Jim Furyk                   USA

58        Keith Mitchell           USA

59        Abraham Ancer         MEX

60        Kevin Na                    USA

61        Tom Lewis                ENG

62        Kevin Na                    USA

63        Aaron Wise               USA

64        Lee Westwood          ENG

65        Satoshi Kodaira         JPN

66        Luke List                    USA

The bracket will be unveiled live on Golf Channel Monday, March 25 from 4-5 p.m. CT.