Former Texas Longhorns Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth are among the leading favorites and contenders heading into this week’s World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play event.
They are also the local fan favorites in the match play tournament played at the Pete Dye-designed Austin Country Club. The event provides a change in the style of golf versus the weekly stroke-play events on the PGA Tour.
The 2022 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play will see the golfers compete in a round-robin format for three days with the 16 group winners advancing to a single-elimination format on Saturday and Sunday.
This is the sixth year that Austin Country Club is holding this World Golf Championships Match Play event.
- Date: Mar. 23-27, 2022
- Par: 71 / Yardage 7,108
- Purse: $12 Million
Every player earns a paycheck this week, with the last-place finisher earning $40,000.
The purse increased from $10.5 million to $12 million this year, and players who get out of the round-robin stage and into the final bracket of 16 earn a minimum of $220,000. Losers in the quarterfinal round get $386,000, then the four semifinalists have matches to slot the top four finishers.
This year’s WGC – Match Play winner receives $2.1 million, runner-up $1.32 million, third place $852,000 and fourth place $685,000.
WGC-Dell Match Play Bracket
Top golfers in the spotlight at WGC-Dell Match Play
Both Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth live in Dallas and played golf at the University of Texas. The two former Longhorns were part of the 2021 U.S. Ryder Cup-winning team.
If there were legalized sports betting in Texas, both would get attention from golf bettors in the Lone Star State.
Seeded No. 5 in this year’s WGC Match Play event, his opponents in the opening Group Stage round-robin format include:
- Matthew Fitzpatrick (20)
- Tommy Fleetwood (41)
- Ian Poulter (59)
Scottie Scheffler had a strong showing in his debut performance at last year’s WGC Match Play event. He was seeded No. 32 and advanced to the finals before falling to No. 34 Billy Horschel, who had 80/1 odds to win the event.
In the Quarterfinals, Scheffler slew the dragon and current world No. 1 Jon Rahm as an underdog. Scottie was sizzling hot with his shots and putting stroke to go 3-up through five holes in his way to a 3 & 1 victory.
In the semifinals, Scheffler was the betting favorite over 2019 Match Play runner-up Matt Kuchar, and Scheffler earned a 1-up victory. On to the finals, and Scheffler showed well again as the favorite, but this time in a 2 & 1 defeat to Billy Horschel.
Scottie Scheffler was the 2020 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, and he’s risen to be a top 10 golfer in the world. He’s now a 2-time winner on Tour this year having won the first PGA TOUR event of his career at the Phoenix Open.
Then earlier this month, the 25-year-old captured the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida. Scheffler is now No. 2 on the PGA Tour money list this season with $5.3 million in golf earnings.
Scheffler leads the FedEx Cup Standings, and his stats profile on Tour this season is strong.
- 4.90 per round – Top 5 Birdie Average
- 67.87 – Top 10 Scoring Average
- 71.56 – Top 15 Greens-in-Regulation
- 308.9 – Top 25 Driving Distance
Seeded No. 11 on the other side of the bracket, he is joined in the Group Stage by 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott (32), 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose (46) and 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley (60).
A review of the golf stats performance charts shows both Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth have had some success in their old college town.
Jordan Spieth has a strong record in the WGC Match Play event at Austin despite not winning or making the finals. The 3-time major winner has played in the event every year in Austin since 2016, and his finishing positions are T9, T30, T17, T24 and T8 in 2021.
In a tight quarterfinal match against Matt Kuchar, the players were all-square through 16 holes after Spieth missed the opportunity to take the lead on 16 just skimming his birdie putt by the hole. Kuchar made a 6-foot putt on 18 to win the match, 1-up.
Jordan Spieth comes off a big bounce-back season a year ago when he won his 12th PGA Tour title in the Valero Texas Open. The 28-year-old had six top-5 finishes in 2021 that included a T3 at the Masters, where he won a Green Jacket in 2015 at age 21.
This season, Spieth has not been as sharp and his stats are not top-of-the-leaderboard yet, but he did finished 2nd in the AT&T Pebble Beach tournament in February.
Spieth’s short game strength and putting prowess on Bermuda greens make him a threat again this week. Jordan ranks top 30 this season in driving distance (308.6) and Greens-in-Regulation (70.6), but his short game strength hasn’t delivered to his standards yet.
Spieth’s scoring average is 71.5 this season to rank outside the top 150 players on the PGA Tour.
Recent WGC Match Play winners and runner-ups
- 1. Billy Horschel, 2. Scottie Scheffler (2021)
- 2020 Cancelled
- 1. Kevin Kisner, 2. Matt Kuchar (2019)
- 1. Bubba Watson, 2. Kevin Kisner (2018)
- 1. Dustin Johnson, 2. Jon Rahm (2017)
- 1. Jason Day, 2. Louis Oosthuizen (2016)
Other golfers with Texas ties to watch at WGC-Dell Match Play
While Scottie Scheffler enters the WGC Match Play event ranked No. 5 in the world and Jordan Spieth No. 15, there are some other golfers with Texas ties who are among the top 30 in the world.
Ancer was born in McAllen, Texas and raised in Mexico. He currently resides in San Antonio. The former Oklahoma Sooners golfer currently ranks No. 19 in the world and has finished top 20 in each of the last two WGC-Match Play events in Austin.
He picked up two Group Stage wins last year but lost to Kevin Streelman, who won the tiebreaker to advance.
Reed was born in San Antonio and lives in Houston. He currently ranks No. 28 in the world and has twice made it to the Round of 16 in 2016 and 2018.
In last year’s WGC-Match Play event, Reed finished T28 after picking up 1.5 points but coming up short in the Group Stage with his round-robin pod won by Bubba Watson.
Garcia currently lives in Austin with his wife, who he married in 2017. Golf has been good for Garcia, and so have the endorsements for the 2017 Masters champion.
Garcia’s wife is the reason they live in Texas, as she is former Longhorns golfer and previous Golf Channel reporter Angela Akins. She is the daughter of former Texas Longhorns QB Marty Akins, and cousin of former New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees.
Sergio is currently ranked No. 49 in the world and has three top-10 finishes in the WGC-Match Play event the last three years. He got through the Group Stage in 2021 and then beat Mackenzie Hughes 2 & 1 in the Round of 16 before losing to Victor Perez, 4 & 3.
To advance to the weekend Garcia had to get through his Group Stage of:
- Collin Morikawa (2)
- Jason Kokrak (22)
- Robert MacIntire (61)
Next week it’s the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio, where Jordan Spieth will defend his title ahead of The Masters starting on Apr. 7.
Jordan Spieth is currently among the leading online sportsbooks top 5 favorites to win the 2022 Masters with odds of 15/1 or less. Scottie Scheffler has the odds to win his first Green Jacket of 25/1.