World class field gear up for WGC Dell Technologies Match Play
The second World Golf Championship of the year starts in Austin, Texas, where many of the world’s finest are gathered – and where Rory McIlroy arrives the strong favourite.
Marvellous McIlroy gets his spark back
After his first victory in 18 months at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday, the 2014 Champion Golfer of the Year has become the latest top name to hit form ahead of the year’s first major.
Back-to-back wins would cement his place as the front-runner for victory at the Masters and completing the career grand slam. But there is a tough field and format standing in his way, headed by world number 1 Dustin Johnson, Champion Golfer Jordan Spieth, reigning PGA Champion Justin Thomas and Masters Champion Sergio Garcia.
In a four-man Group 6, McIlroy has been drawn with Brian Harman, Jhonattan Vegas and Peter Uihlein at the Austin Country Club and all eyes will be on him as he looks to lift the Walter Hagen Cup for a second time.
Johnson ready to dust off his clubs
With a wave of excitement surrounding Rory McIlroy’s return to form and the renaissance of Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson perhaps has a point to prove as he returns from a two-week break. The defending champion is yet to finish worse than 16th this season, with four top-ten finishes – including victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January.
Johnson tees up against Austrian Bernd Wiesberger in a tough Group 1 that also includes Kevin Kisner and Adam Hadwin.
Home comforts for Spieth
With the Masters two weeks away, Jordan Spieth will view this week as the perfect catalyst for a return to top form. The 24-year-old reigning Champion Golfer returns to his home state without a top-five finish since December but moving into a period in the season where he has performed exceptionally well in seasons passed.
But it’s sink or swim this week in an exciting Group 4. Patrick Reed faces Spieth on Friday, while 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel and highly-rated debutant Haotong Li complete the group.
King Louis draws Jason Day
The 2010 Champion Golfer of the Year has drawn two-time winner of this event Jason Day in his group – in what will be a re-match of the 2015 final. Oosthuizen and Day, the 2015 PGA Champion, meet on Friday in what could be the group’s decisive meeting.