The world’s best players are all in Austin, Texas, for a unique stop on the men’s professional golf schedule.
Austin Country Club plays host to the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play once again this week. With the top-12 players in the Golfweek/Sagarin men’s ranking, as well as 64 of the top 69 in the Official World Golf Ranking set to compete, there are some matches each day that stand out among the rest.
Thursday’s slate features a bout between former Cal Bear stars and winners on Tour this year, two tantrum-prone players squaring off as well as the defending champion against one of the hottest players in the game.
Check out these seven second-day matches in Austin.
Niemann makes his Match Play debut this week in Austin, earning half a point with a tie against Christiaan Bezuidenhout on Wednesday. What’s his reward for a hard-fought match? A meeting with Bubba Watson, the two-time WGC champion at the 2014 HSBC Champions and 2018 Match Play.
Does this one even need explaining? Spieth is on a tear this season, with three top-five finishes in his last five starts. Wolff has been struggling with an injury, but the winner of the 2019 3M Open and still defending NCAA champion beat Corey Conners 3 and 1 on Wednesday.
The Match Play defending champion from 2019, Kisner took care of Louis Oosthuizen 2 and &1 in the opening round, while Thomas, recent winner of the Players Championship, lost 3 and 2 to Matt Kuchar.
Tony Finau announced his presence with authority on Wednesday, rolling Dylan Frittelli 6 and 5 to set the tone for Group 12. Zalatoris has performed well all season, making 12 cuts in 13 events, with 10 top-25 finishes, five inside the top 10. Showtime.
Last month Max Homa won the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club. The next week, Collin Morikawa followed suit at the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession.
Separated by just a few years, both were standout players for the Cal Bears. Homa won the individual title at the 2013 NCAA Championship for the Bears, while Morikawa won six times during his time at Cal, including the 2019 Pac-12 Championship.
The European Ryder Cup teammates both have thrown their fair share of temper tantrums on the course, and with the unpredictability of Match Play, who knows what may happen.
Garcia, who recently finished T-9 at the Players Championship, has earned 20 top 10s in 61 WGC appearances. In three previous WGC Match Play appearances, Hatton has finished T-17, as well as consecutive top-10 finishes in 2018 and 2019.
The top-seed in Group 6 and winner of the 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions, Schauffele tied Andy Sullivan on Wednesday, making his bout with two-time Match Play winner Jason Day (2014 and 2016) all the more important. Scottie Scheffler defeated Day 2 up on Wednesday.