2023 WGC-Dell Match Play: Top 10 Power Rankings at Austin CC

Rory McIlroy, Austin Country Club,Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
Rory McIlroy, Austin Country Club,Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports /
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The end of an era is upon us.

The PGA Tour is moving on from having a match play tournament on the schedule. This year’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play will be the last edition. I hope this is just a temporary end, as the PGA Tour could benefit from breaking up the monotony of 72 holes of stroke play from time to time.

This event’s absence will only make the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup that much more appealing.

This will also spell an end to the World Golf Championships, which began in the late 1990s.

Enough eulogizing, let’s get down to the golf.

The WGC-Match Play has bounced around to several venues, with its last landing stop coming to Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas, where it’s been since 2016.

The venue is a Pete Dye design currently measuring 7,108 yards for a par 71.

It features rolling fairways, firm and undulating Bermuda greens, and plenty of risk/reward shots suitable for match play.

Look for Bermuda specialists and birdie makers to do well at the WGC-Match Play.

Fear of the big number is reduced when players are penalized for one hole, not their entire round.

The tournament format features 64 players making the tournament via the Official World Golf Ranking. The top 16 ranked players head their own pools. Each pool will be filled by random draw to include a player seeded from 17-32, 33-48, and 49-64.

Weather for the week shows chances for rain through Friday with it drying up on the weekend. That could lead to softer conditions, with driving distance a bigger emphasis. Temperatures will be in the 50s in the morning and up to the 80s in the afternoon.

Wind will be a factor but it doesn’t expect to be too breezy.

Given this tournament’s unique format, I have opted to project out the entire tournament down to the finals, with the top 10 power rankings divised of the eight quarterfinalists, plus two others from the round of 16.

Let’s get to it.

Match Play, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Austin Country Club, PGA Tour, Scottie Scheffler, WGC-Match Play
Tommy Fleetwood, WGC-Dell Match Play, Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports /

Tommy Fleetwood is trending in a good direction toward picking up his long-awaited first PGA Tour win.

He’s made his last four cuts stateside, including T-20th at the Genesis Invitational and T-3rd last week at the Valspar Championship.

Fleetwood was in the mix to win entering Sunday at Innisbrook. He didn’t surge to victory as some hoped, but he at least shot 1-under 70 on a tough course and was in contention throughout the round.

“I’ve always loved playing all around the world. I enjoy coming to work on the PGA Tour,” Fleetwood was transcribed by ASAP Sports on Saturday.

"“I love playing golf over here. I love the standard of golf over here. I’ve had my chances before and it’s not happened for me, but I think I’ve got a lot of events left in me and I don’t plan on winning once I would like to win multiple, multiple times. When my day comes that will be great.”"

Fleetwood advanced to the quarterfinals at the 2021 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play for his best career finish. He took second in his group two other times in five total appearances at Austin Country Club.

I like the No. 24 seed Fleetwood to win his group featuring No. 16 Sungjae Im, No. 43 JT Poston, and No. 58 Maverick McNealy.

Im hasn’t finished top two in his group in two appearances, though he could be dangerous with three top-10s in his last six starts.

Poston is a tournament newcomer and has three missed cuts and was T-63rd in four of his last five starts.

McNealy is also new to the Match Play and has just one top-10 in 2023.

I like Fleetwood to make it out of the group, only for his run to end in the round of 16 against defending champion and top seed Scottie Scheffler.

I could see Fleetwood getting it to the 18th hole or beyond before Scheffler prevails. Who knows, maybe Fleetwood can avenge the loss in Italy this fall at the Ryder Cup?