WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Filling Out a Bracket for the PGA Tour’s Version of March Madness
Bracket season is fully upon us, as the 2022 NCAA Tournament rages on into the Sweet 16. But if Kentucky or Baylor already busted your bracket in the early stages, don’t worry, the PGA Tour is here to help you get your fix.
The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is set to tee off from Austin Country Club on Wednesday, and we’ve got you covered with picks to help you fill out your annual golf bracket to keep the fun rolling.
Predicting the group stage winners
Group 1: Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed, Cameron Young, Sebastian Munoz
Winner: Jon Rahm
Plenty of groups will produce underdog winners this year, but I don’t see this being one of them. As long as Jon Rahm can subdue the fiery Patrick Reed in their matchup, he should be able to cruise to the Sweet 16.
Group 2: Collin Morikawa, Jason Kokrak, Sergio Garcia, Robert MacIntyre
Winner: Sergio Garcia
OK, I’ll bite. Sergio Garcia has advanced past the group stage in his last three appearances at Austin Country Club, and he has a good chance to knock off Collin Morikawa out of the gates.
Group 3: Viktor Hovland, Will Zalatoris, Cameron Tringale, Sepp Straka
Winner: Viktor Hovland
I’d love to take Will Zalatoris to make a deep run here, but it’s impossible to trust his shaky putter in this format. I’ll stick with the chalk and advance Viktor Hovland.
Group 4: Patrick Cantlay, Sungjae Im, Keith Mitchell, Seamus Power
Winner: Patrick Cantlay
You might not be able to tell from his stoic demeanor, but Patrick Cantlay is an absolute killer in the match play format. We’ll have more on him later.
Group 5: Scottie Scheffler, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Ian Poulter
Winner: Ian Poulter
Scottie Scheffler reached the championship match at this event last year before falling to Billy Horschel. Still, I’m willing to take an upset shot here and go with the seasoned Ryder Cup veteran in Ian Poulter.
Group 6: Justin Thomas, Kevin Kisner, Marc Leishman, Luke List
Winner: Justin Thomas
I was eyeing Kevin Kisner as one of my upset picks leading up to the tournament, but he received a brutal draw with Justin Thomas in his group for the second straight year. Kisner got the best of Thomas in 2021, so I’ll go with Thomas to get revenge.
Group 7: Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau, Lucas Herbert, Takumi Kanaya
Winner: Takumi Kanaya
Upset alert! There always seems to be an unknown name who makes a run in this tournament, so I’ll take my chances with the former No. 1 amateur in the world, Takumi Kanaya, in one of the weakest groups in the field.
Group 8: Dustin Johnson, Max Homa, Matthew Wolff, Mackenzie Hughes
Winner: Max Homa
Max Homa is one of the hottest golfers in the world right now, and I like him to advance in a group riddled with inconsistent players.
Group 9: Bryson DeChambeau, Talor Gooch, Lee Westwood, Richard Bland
Winner: Talor Gooch
There’s no way I’m trusting Bryson DeChambeau coming off a hand injury and playing for the first time since January. With two other players closing in on 50 in this group, Talor Gooch might be the easiest pick of the tournament.
Group 10: Louis Oosthuizen, Paul Casey, Corey Conners, Alex Noren
Winner: Paul Casey
This group is a toss-up for me, so I’ll take the guy fresh off a third-place finish at The Players Championship in Paul Casey to advance.
Group 11: Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Keegan Bradley
Winner: Jordan Spieth
Match play usually comes down to the flatstick in the end, so in a group with three inconsistent putters, I’ll take Texan Jordan Spieth to survive and advance.
Group 12: Billy Horschel, Tom Hoge, Thomas Pieters, Min Woo Lee
Winner: Billy Horschel
Billy Horschel is the reigning champion of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, and the bracket-makers rewarded him with one of the weakest groups in the field this year.
Group 13: Tyrrell Hatton, Daniel Berger, Si Woo Kim, Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Winner: Daniel Berger
You’d have more success picking the winner of this group by closing your eyes and grabbing a name out of a hat, but I’ll default to the most talented player of the bunch in Daniel Berger.
Group 14: Joaquin Niemann, Kevin Na, Russell Henley, Maverick McNealy
Winner: Maverick McNealy
Another group where no winner would surprise me. But this time, I’ll go with the biggest underdog in Maverick McNealy to pull off the upset.
Group 15: Abraham Ancer, Webb Simpson, Brian Harman, Bubba Watson
Winner: Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson has shown some decent form lately, and he’s made it past the group stage in three of his last four appearances here. He also won the event back in 2018, so I’ll ride with the veteran to advance.
Group 16: Brooks Koepka, Shane Lowry, Harold Varner III, Erik van Rooyen
Winner: Shane Lowry
I’ll ride the recent form with Shane Lowry here, although I wouldn’t be surprised if Harold Varner III makes a run at this group.
Filling out the bracket for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
Round of 16
Jon Rahm vs. Shane Lowry
I love how Lowry has been playing recently, but I’ll stick with the chalk and advance Rahm to the next round.
Max Homa vs. Talor Gooch
This is a fun matchup, and I could see it going either way, but I’ll ride with Homa coming off four straight top-20 finishes on the PGA Tour.
Patrick Cantlay vs. Daniel Berger
In a battle between Ryder Cup teammates, I’ll take the guy with stronger match play history and roll with Cantlay to move on.
Ian Poulter vs. Billy Horschel
I wouldn’t be surprised if Horschel goes back-to-back on a course he clearly loves, but we’re due for an upset in the first round. Give me Poulter to pull it off.
Sergio Garcia vs. Bubba Watson
In a battle between two players in their 40s, I’ll roll with Garcia’s competitive fire to win out here.
Takumi Kanaya vs. Paul Casey
Cinderella alert! If you don’t know Kanaya’s name yet, you will once he makes a deep run in this tournament.
Viktor Hovland vs. Maverick McNealy
McNealy could be another Cinderella candidate in this bracket, but Hovland has too much firepower for the American.
Justin Thomas vs. Jordan Spieth
The bracket-makers knew what they were doing with this one. I’ll go with Thomas to get the best of his childhood buddy in the Round of 16.
Jon Rahm vs. Max Homa
Rahm could easily run the table and win this event, but I’m worried about his recent putting woes. Homa has simply been a more consistent golfer over the last month, so I’ll take my chances on an upset here.
Patrick Cantlay vs. Ian Poulter
It’s been a nice run for Poulter at age 46, but Cantlay won’t be scared of the experienced Englishman here. Give me the better all-around player to advance.
Sergio Garcia vs. Takumi Kanaya
If you couldn’t tell by now, I like Kanaya to play the role of the 2018 Loyola Chicago Ramblers and roll all the way to the Final Four this year.
Viktor Hovland vs. Justin Thomas
Wow. What a matchup this would be. Thomas has been knocking on victory’s door with six top-10 finishes in his last eight starts, so I’ll go with the stellar form to move on.
Final Four: Patrick Cantlay prevails to win the Match Play
Patrick Cantlay vs. Max Homa
This should be a battle to the bitter end, but Cantlay’s ability to hole clutch putts will push him to a victory in an all-American semifinal.
Takumi Kanaya vs. Justin Thomas
Sorry, Takumi. It’s been a great run, but the Cinderella story must end at some point. It’s hard to find anyone on the PGA Tour playing better golf than Thomas right now, so I’ll bet he gets to the championship in his sixth start at Austin Country Club.
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play winner: Patrick Cantlay
I really liked what I saw out of Cantlay in his Ryder Cup debut last fall. He went 3-0-1 in his four matches and dusted Lowry in his singles matchup to help Team United States cruise past Team Europe in a rout. With the Masters just a few weeks away, I love Cantlay to build some momentum with a victory here.
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