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USA Today Sports Media Group
Adam Woodard

Here are 10 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play showdowns you won’t want to miss

Who’s ready for some match play?

The PGA Tour’s best – 64 of the world’s top 77 players – are bound for Austin Country Club this week for the final playing of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. The famed club in the Texas capital has been the host of the Match Play since 2016 when Dell became the title sponsor. As one of the Tour’s designated events for the season, the loaded field will be competing for a tournament-record purse of $20 million in its final year.

For those unfamiliar with the format, here’s how it goes: The 64 players are seeded and placed in 16 different groups. Golfers play everyone in their group in matches from Wednesday-Friday and earn one point for a win and half a point for a tie. The 16 group winners with the most points will then advance to the knockout stage with the Round of 16 on Saturday morning, the quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon, semifinals on Sunday morning final and third place-matches on Sunday afternoon.

With a great field comes some must-watch matches. Here are 10 showdowns you won’t want to miss at the 2023 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Group 1: Scottie Scheffler vs. Tom Kim

Let’s start with the defending champion, Scottie Scheffler. The world No. 1 also finished runner-up in Austin in 2021 and enters the week off a win at the Players Championship.

Scheffler’s top challenger in Group 1 is rising star Tom Kim, the 20-year-old ranked No. 19 in the world who already has a pair of PGA Tour wins under his belt. Kim embraced the moment as a member of the International team at the Presidents Cup last fall and is sure to put on a show for the fans this week.

Scottie Scheffler hugs caddie Ted Scott after defeating Kevin Kisner in the final of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club. (Photo: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports)

Group 2: Jon Rahm vs. Billy Horschel

Both players are known to wear their emotions on their sleeves, which could produce some fireworks given the volatility of match play. Horschel took home the Match Play trophy in 2021 while Rahm, currently ranked No. 2 in the world, finished runner-up in 2017.

Billy Horschel holds the Walter Hagen Cup after winning the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club over Scottie Scheffler. (Photo: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports)

Group 2: Keith Mitchell vs. Rickie Fowler

This is a must-watch for a couple reasons, the first strictly for the clashing aesthetics with Cashmere Keith vs. Highlighter Rickie. Second, both are playing some pretty good golf these days.

In 10 starts this season on Tour, Fowler has six top-25 finishes, including a trio of top 10s and a T-2 at the Zozo Championship. Over 12 starts, Mitchell also has three top-10 finishes, including a pair of close calls on the west coast swing at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (T-4) and Genesis Invitational (5).

Keith Mitchell hits from the second hole tee during the second round of The Genesis Invitational golf tournament. (Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

Group 3: Rory McIlroy vs. Keegan Bradley

Ranked No. 3 in the world, McIlroy is appointment television these days alongside Scheffler and Rahm, not to mention his history at the event which includes a win in 2015 and a runner-up showing in 2012.

Bradley won in the fall at the Zozo Championship and so far this year has a runner-up finish at the Farmers Insurance Open and top 10 at Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Rory McIlroy watches his drive on the first hole during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament. (Photo: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)

Group 5: Max Homa vs. Kevin Kisner

This might be one of the most fun matches in the pool play slate. Both are fan favorites, but Kisner might just have the advantage at Austin Country Club. The match play maven has been runner-up in 2022 and 2018 and won in 2019.

Homa hasn’t finished better than T-18 at the Match Play, but he did go an unbeaten 4-0 at the 2022 Presidents Cup, including a defeat of Tom Kim in his Sunday singles match. So far this season Homa already has two wins at the Fortinet Championship and Farmers Insurance Open.

Max Homa hits his drive on the 18th hole during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament. (Photo: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)

Group 5: Max Homa vs. Hideki Matsuyama

See above for the reasons to watch Homa, but let’s focus on Matsuyama here.

After two wins last season, Matsuyama has struggled by his lofty standards so far this season and hasn’t advanced to the Round of 16 at the Match Play since 2015. But as he prepares to make another run at Augusta National following his 2021 Masters win, don’t be surprised if a match with Homa gets Matsuyama’s competitive juices flowing.

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan hits a shot during a practice round prior to the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Golf Course on February 28, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Group 9: Collin Morikawa vs. Jason Day

Jason Day has been back on his grind recently on the PGA Tour with five top-10 finishes in 12 starts this season and could be a fun challenge for the top seed in Group 9. Not only that, Day has a history of success at the Match Play, where he won in 2014 and 2016, the first year at Austin Country Club.

Jason Day poses with his wife Ellie and children Dash and Lucy after defeating Louis Oosthuizen in the championship round of the World Golf Championship-Dell Match Play at the Austin Country Club. (Photo: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports)

Group 12: Jordan Spieth vs. Shane Lowry

Ryder Cup preview, anyone? Neither player has a great history of success in the event, but this isn’t a projection of winners. The pair are separated by just nine places in both their seeds and world rankings, making for one of the closest matches on paper in pool play.

Jordan Spieth plays his shot from the second tee during the final round of the 2023 Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida. (Photo: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)

Group 14: Tyrrell Hatton vs. Anyone else in Group 14

Hatton will be looking to make his case for a third Ryder Cup appearance and has a strong history at the Match Play where he has advanced to the Round of 16 in three of his last five appearance in Austin.

Not only that, the fact he idles at 70 percent on the verge of losing his temper makes him must-watch in match play. It doesn’t matter if its Russell Henley, Lucas Herbert or Ben Griffin, they’re all matches you won’t want to miss with Hatton.

Tyrrell Hatton reacts after his birdie putt on the par four 18th hole during the third round of the British Masters at Woburn Golf Club on October 10, 2015, in Woburn, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Group 15: Cameron Young vs. Davis Thompson

The most stoic match on the slate. You won’t know who’s up or down in the match seeing as neither are prone to showing any sort of emotion, positive or negative, on the golf course.

Thompson, a PGA Tour rookie, finished runner-up at the American Express and was ninth at the Fortinet Championship to start the season.

Young, the reigning Rookie of the Year, finished T-35 in his Match Play debut last year and had five runner-up finishes. So far this season, he’s finished in the top 25 in four of eight starts with one top 10.

Young also be breaking in a new caddie, as Paul Tesori is making the switch away from Webb Simpson.

Davis Thompson watches his shot from the sixth tee during the final round of The American Express golf tournament at Pete Dye Stadium Course. (Photo: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)
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