March Madness moves to the golf course on Wednesday. Starting Wednesday March 27th we tee off with five days of Match-Play golf in Austin, Texas. This is another WGC event so only the top 64 players are invited.
- Wednesday March 27th: Golf Channel (1:00 PM – 7:00 PM)
- Thursday March 28th: Golf Channel (1:00 PM – 7:00 PM)
- Friday March 29th: Golf Channel (1:00 PM – 7:00 PM)
- Saturday March 30th: Golf Channel (9:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
- Saturday March 30th: NBC (1:00 PM – 5:00 PM)
- Sunday March 31st: Golf Channel (9:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
- Sunday March 31st: NBC (2:00 PM – 6:00 PM)
Whose Teeing Off
This tournament is for the top 64 players in the world, the only two that declined to show up this year are Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott. In their place will be Satoshi Kodaira and Luke List. So based on those facts, this tournament field is loaded. What is more interesting here, is the seeding and which groups each guys is in, and we’ll get to that soon.
Match play has been at Austin Country Club for the last three years, so we have three years of data to look at. Here are your winners, and runner ups in parenthesis for those years.
- 2018: Bubba Watson (2nd – Kevin Kisner)
- 2017: Dustin Johnson (2nd – Jon Rahm)
- 2016: Jason Day (2nd – Louis Oosthuizen)
With match play, there is not top 5 or top 10 results too look at. All we can look at this rounds, so round of 64, round 16, round of 8, then your top 4. Add that to only three years of course history here, then the fact guys are playing in different groupings every year and it’s a hard tournament to take away some real insights from the data. But we’ll get you some info here and take it for what its worth.
- Alex Noren has played here twice, finished 3rd last year and was bounced out in the round of 8 in 2017.
- DJ won in 2017, didn’t make it out of his group in 2018, and go knocked out in the round of 8 in 2016.
- Brooks Koepka didn’t play last year, but at this course made it to the round 16 in 2017, and round of 8 in 2016.
- Hideki Matsuyama has never made it out of the groups round.
- Jordan Speith hasn’t been play well, and in three years here he’s made it past the groups round once, that was to the round 16 in 2016.
Also not a bad stat here for you all: In 2016 only 8 of top seeds advanced to the round of 16, 2017 & 2018 only five of the top seeds went on to the round of 16. So, don’t go chalk here.
Each group plays round robin from Wednesday to Friday. The winners of each group then go on to play each-other in a bracket style tournament, so Group 1 winner will play the Group 16 winner, 2 VS 15, and so on. More on how it works after we go through all the groupings. My picks for each group will be in bold.
- (1) Dustin Johnson (14-12)
- (24) Hideki Matsuyama (7-7-1)
- (40) Branden Grace (6-8-1)
- (55) Chez Reavie (1-1-1)
- (2) Justin Rose (10-11-1)
- (22) Gary Woodland (8-6-1)
- (34) Eddie Pepperell (0-0)
- (53) Emiliano Grillo (1-4-1)
- (3) Brooks Koepka (8-4)
- (27) Alex Noren (11-4)
- (36) Hao Tong Li (0-3-0)
- (60) Tom Lewis (0-0)
- (4) Rory McIlroy (24-11-2)
- (32) Matthew Fitzpatrick (4-5-0)
- (47) Justin Harding (0-0)
- (64) Luke List (0-3-0)
- (5) Justin Thomas (6-7)
- (31) Keegan Bradley (1-7-2)
- (33) Matt Wallace (0-0)
- (50) Lucas Bjerragaard (0-0)
- (6) Bryson DeChambeau (0-0)
- (17) Marc Leishman (5-8-2)
- (39) Kiradech Aphibarnrat (6-3-0)
- (59) Russell Knox (2-3-1)
- (7) Francesco Molinari (4-11-0)
- (21) Webb Simpson (8-8-1)
- (45) Thorbjorn Olsen (2-4-0)
- (63) Satoshi Kodaira (0-3-0)
- (8) Jon Rahm (6-3-1)
- (23) Matt Kuchar (24-9-3)
- (43) J.B. Holmes (6-7-2)
- (54) Si Woo Kim (3-2-2)
- (9) Xander Schauffele (2-1-0)
- (29) Rafa Cabrera Bello (9-6-1)
- (35) Tyrrell Hatton (4-3-0)
- (62) Lee Westwood (17-19)
- (10) Paul Casey (25-14-1)
- (25) Cameron Smith (3-1-1)
- (42) Charles Howell III (10-11-0)
- (58) Abraham Ancer (0-0)
- (11) Tommy Fleetwood (6-5-0)
- (19) Louis Ooshuizen (19-10-0)
- (41) Kyle Stanley (4-3-0)
- (49) Byeong-Hun An (1-4-2)
- (12) Jason Day (22-11-0)
- (20) Phil Mickelson (24-14-0)
- (37) Henrik Stenson (14-9)
- (52) Jim Furyk (19-18-1)
- (13) Tiger Woods (33-10)
- (18) Patrick Cantlay (2-1-0)
- (44) Brandt Snedeker (7-8-1)
- (61) Aaron Wise (0-0)
- (14) Tony Finau (2-1-)
- (30) Ian Poulter (27-15-0)
- (48) Kevin Kisner (8-4-1)
- (56 Keith Mitchell (0-0)
- (15) Bubba Watson (20-8-3)
- (28) Jordan Spieth (11-5-1)
- (38) Billy Horschel (4-4)
- (57) Kevin Na (5-8-2)
- (16) Patrick Reed (9-6-1)
- (26) Sergio Garcia (22-18-1)
- (46) Shane Lowry (3-7-2)
- (51) Andrew Putnam (0-0)
The Bracket & How it Works
This is how the schedule works:
- Wednesday – Friday: Round Robin Group Play. Winner of each group moves onto the weekend.
- Saturday: Two rounds play, sudden death. If you win the first round on Saturday, you play the Quarterfinals on the same day.
- Sunday: Semi-finals and Finals are played. Both 1st place, and 3rd place matches are played so the four guys that make it to Sunday are guaranteed two more rounds.
With the bracket there is no reseeding. So whoever wins Group 1, will play the winner of Groups 16. It doesn’t matter if 55th ranked Chez Reavie wins Group 1, he will play the winner of Group 16.
How the golf works: This is all one on one match play. Meaning, guys will be giving others putts, if a guy goes OB or into a hazard, he’ll probably cede the hole to his opponent. Some of these matches may go all 18 holes, and some may only go 13. It’s very fun to watch on Saturday if there are good matches. Sunday can be a bore at times because you only have two matches going at once, and if both are bad then its not fun golf to watch.
Austin Country Club is a 7,100 yard Par 71. It was designed in 1984 by Pete and Alice Dye. All the Par 5’s here are reachable in two as is one Par 4 s this course does bode well for bombers, hence DJ and Bubba winning the past two years. We have Bermuda greens here, any are protected by bunkers, and there is some water on this course. Let’s take a look at a few of the holes here.
Hole #4 “Slippery Knoll”: 185 Yard Par 3
A shorter Par 3 that really doesn’t have any hazard to be aware of. I’d expect them to put the pin near that front bunker at least once to put it in play. However, the green has a lot of movement and different levels to it.
Hole #12 “Iron Bridge”: 578 Yard Par 5
Possibly the most recognizable hole at Austin CC. This par 5 plays downhill towards Lake Austin with the bridge that looks like it rights above the green from far away. Guys can get here in two easily but miss anywhere to the left and you could be in the lake.
Hole #13 “Cape Dye”: 317 Yard Par 4
Here is the aforementioned reachable par 4. A very long narrow green extends with the lake, so although you can get here in one, it might be best to layup. If the wind holds up, we might see a guy go for this green in one over the lake.
One & Done: I need a god damn win. Brooks Koepka has a good course fit here, he’s got an “easy” group to make it to the top 16, and then I like the side of the bracket he’s on. He won’t have to meet the likes of Dustin Johnson, Rory, Jon Rahm, JT, or Xander until the finals. Add the fact that usually big names win here, and we had to pick one. Let’s go Brooks.
Betting Winner: Brooks Koepka (+1800), Sergio Garcia (+4000), Gary Woodland (+6000)
I just talked about Brooks above. Garcia and Woodland are in similar situations regarding their draws. I like both guys to come out of their groupings. Woodland has obviously played great this year, while Garcia also has a bunch of Top 10s this year and made it to the round of 16 last year.
Daily Fantasy: Just a little tid bit here, make sure to pick guys from different parts of the bracket and in different groups. There no good in picking two guys from the same bracket, or the majority of your players from one side. We want to try to even out the sides, go 3 and 3 and pick guys who have a good chance at winning their group.
- Sergio Garcia
- JB Holmes
- Brooks Koepka
- Marc Leishman
- Louis Oosthuizen
- Gary Woodland
One & Done History: Hey what do you know, I picked a guy whose been playing well, has played well at the Valspar, and he missed the fucking cut. My streak of top 10 then shit week continues on. This week is make or break, for me. No T10 to save me, I need a win real bad which is why we went with Koepka whose played well here the past two years, and he should easily get out of his group. Lets. Fucking. Go.
- Waste Management Open: Matt Kuchar – $293,467 (T4)
- Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Shane Lowry – $0.00 (Missed Cut)
- Genesis Open: Hideki Matsuyama – $177,600 (T9)
- WGC-Mexico: Jon Rahm –$65,000 (T45)
- The Honda Classic: Sergio Garcia – $183,700 (T9)
- Arnold Palmer Invitational: Rickie Fowler – $35,490,000 (T40)
- The Players: Jason Day –$350,000 (T8)
- The Valspar Championship: Webb Simpson – $0 (Missed Cut)
- WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Brooks Koepka –