Starts: 24th March 2021
Course: Austin Country Club
Length: 7,108 yards
2020 Champion: N/A
Overall Profit/Loss: +14.2 pts
Pre-Event Bets: -0.5pts
2pts Win Only Jon Rahm 14/1 @ William Hill
1pt Win Only Paul Casey 25/1 @ William Hill
0.5pts EW Abraham Ancer 50/1 @ Skybet (1/5 1-8)
0.5pts EW Corey Conners 50/1 @ Skybet (1/5 1-8)
0.5pts EW Si Woo Kim 66/1 @ Betfair (1/5 1-8)
0.5pts EW Brian Harman 80/1 @ Skybet (1/5 1-8)
0.5pts EW Kevin Na 90/1 @ Betfair (1/5 1-8)
0.5pts EW Ian Poulter 100/1 @ Betfair (1/5 1-8)
In-Play Bets: +14.7pts
25 March 2021 (-2.5pts)
1pt EW Collin Morikawa (1/4 1-4) - 28/1 @ Sporting Index
0.25pts EW Kevin Na (1/4 1-4) - 400/1 @ Bet365
26 March 2021 (-2pts)
0.5pts EW Paul Casey (1/4 1-4) - 100/1 @ Bet365
0.5pts EW Marc Leishman (1/4 1-4) - 100/1 @ Boylesports
27 March 2021 (+19.2pts)
1pt EW Billy Horschel (1/5 1-4) - 16/1 @ Boylesports
Designer: Pete Dye
Used Since: 2016
Greens: TifEagle Bermuda
Water Hazards: On eight holes
Par 5's: 6th, 12th and 16th
Premium on: Tee to Green
Significant Info To Be Aware Of
Continue to exercise caution in relation to Covid-19 related withdrawals.
This is a match play event and players will each play three group games with the winners progressing to the knockout phase.
Rain is forecast for the opening day and there is the possibility of thunderstorms on Thursday. The rest of the week is forecast to be dry.
Max winds 7mph.
Max winds 10mph.
Max winds 7mph.
Max winds 6mph.
Max winds 8mph.
With only the world's best in attendance, the winner will be a player who occupies a lofty position in the world rankings. Kevin Kisner was 50th in the world when winning in 2019 but winners tend to have a better ranking than this.
Consider form at other Pete Dye venues such as Harbour Town, TPC Sawgrass, PGA West (Stadium Course) etc.
Each of the past ten champions had played in this event before. Eight of the past ten champions reached the final 16 the year before.
Five of the past ten champions had recorded a top 25 in their previous finish prior to winning. Recent form is definitely preferred.
Five of the past ten champions have been American.
It is important to win the opening group game in order to progress to the knockout stages. In the past four years only 14 players from a possible 64 have progressed having failed to win their opening match.
2019: Only two players progressed to the final 16 having lost their opening game.
2018: Four players who halved their opening match progressed but nobody progressed having lost their opener.
2017: Four players progressed to the knockout stage having lost their opening game.
2016: Three players who halved their opening game progressed. Only one player who lost his opening game progressed.
The three par 5s offer birdie opportunities, as does the driveable par 4 13th hole.
WGC Dell Matchplay Championship In-Play Blog
28 March 2021 10:45am
Yesterday saw more heavyweights tumble out, firstly Jordan Spieth in his last 16 match with Matt Kuchar. Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia were then outplayed in the quarter finals and Tommy Fleetwood let a lead slip to be knocked out
We’re down to the final four in Austin and don’t have a seed better than 30th left! Scottie Scheffler, Victor Perez and Billy Horschel were all ranked 30-32 and Matt Kuchar was 52nd.
Scheffler is now regarded as favourite at 15/8 to go on to win after convincingly beating Rahm. He went 3up through three and despite Rahm getting two back he produced big shots when it counted to keep him at bay. Earlier in the day he dispatched Matchplay specialist Ian Poulter. He had seven birdies in each match up yesterday so he is a well deserved favourite from here in.
We’re kicking ourselves as we left Scheffler off our initial staking plan as he had a tough draw with Jason Day and Xander Schauffele. To compound our misery, we left him out in-play as we deemed his route a very tough one with Poulter then Rahm. It’s another reminder to not let the draw impact on your selections if you fancy someone enough.
Horschel is next in the betting at 14/5 but if you read our blog yesterday we advised getting on him each way at 16/1. That money is now safe and the win would be an added bonus. He was slightly fortunate to get past Fleetwood although still made six birdies in addition to the seven against Kevin Streelman. Already a FedEx cup winner in 2014, it would be the next step forward in Horschel’s career after finishing 2nd at the WGC Workday Championship last month.
He will first have to get past debutant and current 7/2 shot Victor Perez. The Frenchman was the best performer in the last 16 matches with six birdies in 14 holes to defeat Robert MacIntyre. He then beat Sergio Garcia 4&3 with a little help from Garcia who didn’t have his best day. It’s noticeable that both wins were against players he’s used to playing with. A tie against Horschel may be one step too far, but he’s a future Ryder Cup player for sure.
In the other half of the draw Matt Kuchar is 7/2 to go all the way after his gritty win over Spieth and relentless beating of Brian Harman. He now has to overcome Scottie Scheffler and will be hoping to make his experience count. Scheffler is going to be difficult to overcome but Kuchar made six birdies in each knockout match yesterday and that will ask a question today if he can repeat.
Backing 7/2 shots or less isn’t a game we want to play in matchplay so we will cheer on Billy Horschel from here and enjoy the beauty of the format. It would be great to see more events like this on the PGA Tour schedule in future!
Semi Finals Bet
- No Bet
27 March 2021 08:45am
Round three continued to favour the underdogs and only Jon Rahm remains of the players who were seeded 1-16. Even Rahm was lucky to survive as Ryan Palmer made a mess of the 14th hole to allow Rahm to remain one down and the match turned thereafter.
We saw some incredible moments whilst also not seeing some incredible moments. Robert MacIntyre's drive on the par 4 18th green finished 3ft from the hole but unfortunately tv cameras didn't pick it up. Given that shot won him the hole, halved the match and meant he qualified for the last 16 it was an unfortunate moment not to be on film! We did however get to see some fantastic matchplay battles, Sergio Garcia hitting a hole in one to defeat Lee Westwood at the fourth playoff hole being a particularly special moment.
With the top seeds going out we now have quite an open draw. Only four players are single figures in the betting, with Rahm favourite at 5/1. Rahm was one of our pre-event selections but he'll have to overcome a few challenges to win this. He's undoubtedly in the tougher half of the draw and he'll likely have to beat Van Rooyen, Poulter and Spieth to reach the final. Victories in each of those matches is of course possible but for the third day in a row he was disappointing through the first nine holes and there's a worry he won't get away with it like he did the first three days against lesser opponents.
Second favourite in the betting, Jordan Spieth (7/1), is also in the harder section of the draw. He must defeat a rejuvenated Matt Kuchar and then see off one of the left handers (Watson/Harman) to progress to a potential match with Poulter/Rahm. He's not for us at 7/1.
Weather conditions for the last 16 matches are forecast to be a slight change from what we've had the opening three days. There is a possibility we'll see some rain showers for the morning games, with the sun returning in the afternoon for the quarter final matches.
If you need to see the brackets and the potential opponents a player could face, you can do so here.
Last 16 Bet
- 1pt Each Way Billy Horschel 16/1 @ Bet365 (1/5 1-4)
Billy was very impressive yesterday when beating Collin Morikawa and then came through a playoff against Max Homa. Streelman won his group by defeating an out of sorts Viktor Hovland (he was +1 through 16 holes) and a poor Bernd Wiesberger (-1 for 18 holes). Billy will give him a harder game today and we'd expect him to pull through. That would set up a quarter final game against Tommy Fleetwood or Dylan Frittelli and neither of them are particularly strong.
26 March 2021 01:00am
Round two saw some big names crash out as the competition intensified. Top 16 seeds Viktor Hovland, Justin Thomas, Tony Finau, Tyrrell Hatton and Collin Morikawa all failed to win and will play on Friday knowing they are definitely going home. Three other top seeds (Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick and Webb Simpson) know their future participation is precarious and they'll need help from other players in order to stand any chance of staying in the competition.
Jon Rahm's second consecutive win sees him remain as favourite (7/1) at the bookmakers but he'll need to step up his game if he is to go the distance in this competition. He's been two over par through eight holes in each of the opening rounds and he's been fortunate that his opponents haven't taken advantage. Ryan Palmer will give him his toughest test of the week so far and he'll have to play better to beat his friend.
Second and third favourites, Patrick Cantlay (10/1) and Dustin Johnson (12/1) survived late scares and did well to win and draw their respective matches. Their destiny remains in their hands.
There are several groups where all four players could realistically progress so it is very much all to play for on day three. The quadrant containing groups 4,5,12 and 13 now appears to be the weakest as it has lost three of the four top seeds and there's a possibility Bryson DeChambeau could be eliminated too. Those looking for some value could do worse than backing players in those groups.
Round 3 Bets
- 0.5pts Each Way Paul Casey 100/1 @ Bet365 (1/4 1-4)
Paul needs to beat Webb Simpson and hope Mackenzie Hughes loses to Talor Gooch. However, we see him beating Simpson and with Hughes likely to feel the pressure, there could just be an upset. It's obviously speculative but at three figure odds were happy to play small stakes.
- 0.5pts Each Way Marc Leishman 100/1 @ Boylesports (1/4 1-4)
It's all to play for in Group 16 with everyone sitting on 1 point. Marc plays Russell Henley in what will be a difficult final group game. However, all the matches from this point will be difficult and he shouldn't be fearful given he dispatched Sungjae Im yesterday. Again, it's a speculative play, so small stakes at big odds.
25 March 2021, 10:50am
Round 2 Bets
- 1pt EW (1/4 1-4) Collin Morikawa 28/1 @ Sporting Index
Collin was only able to tie with JT Poston yesterday, despite playing his final 9 holes in five under par. He now has to beat Max Homa and Billy Horschel to give himself a good chance of progression. With Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland losing in this quarter yesterday, Morikawa could have a kind draw if he can navigate himself out of his group. He is already a winner of a WGC this year and no one will want to draw him if he progresses.
- 0.25pts EW (1/4 1-4) Kevin Na 400/1 @ Bet365
Kevin was unlucky to lose to an inspired Robert MacIntyre yesterday and we think it's worth putting him up as a small bet at huge odds. Na was 4 under through 17 holes yesterday and was helpless as MacIntyre reeled off two eagles and a 30ft birdie putt in the space of four holes on the back nine. Na needs to win his last two games, one of which is against world number 1 Dustin Johnson. He also needs MacIntyre to lose a game. However, a Na win today against Adam Long and DJ beating MacIntyre would mean it's all to play for going into the last game.