The PGA Tour travels to the Lone Star State this week, where the last knockout matches are underway at the WCG - Dell Match Play. A random draw earlier this week organized the 64-man field (which is made up of the top 64 players available from the Official World Golf Ranking) into 16 four-man groups. Each player plays every other player within their group, with one top performer from each group advancing to Saturday and Sunday matches.
For the second year, players will compete on the par-71, 7,108-yard layout at Austin Country Club. Players are getting a taste of a variety of conditions, from 25-mph winds yesterday to soaking rain today. Add to that the unique pressures of match play format and it's sure to be an exciting weekend of golf with many reversals of fortune.
And rising to the top in the equipment counts in this limited field event, Titleist is once again the overwhelming golf ball choice with 38 players (59% of the total field) trusting a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for their success. That’s more than six times the nearest competitor with 9 and more than all competitors combined.
Titleist is also the top choice of players in the hybrids (7) and irons (15) categories. Vokey Design Wedges topped the approach, sand and lob wedge (61) category and Scotty Cameron putters were the top choice in the putter (23) category.
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- Founded in 1899, Austin Country Club is one of the oldest existing clubs in Texas. The club’s current property (this is its third site) features a challenging Pete Dye-designed golf course built in 1984.
- The front nine and the back nine of the Austin Country Club have been switched for the Dell Technologies Match Play. The holes that will serve as the tournament’s back-nine are known as the "lowlands nine" and offer views of Lake Austin. The rest of the course is higher in elevation and more typical of the Texas Hill Country.
- The club has served as home to several of the game’s greats, including World Golf Hall of Famers Harvey Penick, Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw.
- Titleist Brand Ambassador Jordan Spieth (Pro V1x) called Austin home during his college days, and he played Austin CC many times when he was a key player for the Texas Longhorns, a squad that captured the 2012 NCAA Division 1 championship.
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WGC-DELL MATCH PLAY FORMAT:
Building on the success of last year's Match Play event at Austin CC, the International Federation of PGA tours will continue to stage three days of round-robin play (much like World Cup soccer competition), so even if players lose matches on Wednesday and/or Thursday, every player will still be teeing it up on Friday.
1. THE FIELD: The 64-player field is divided into 16 four-man groups. Players will have one match against each of the three other players in their group, so after Friday, there will be 16 group winners.
Matches all square after 18 holes are not extended. Points are awarded as follows: Winner 1 point, Loser 0 point, Halved each player ½ point.
2. DECIDING TIES: The player in each group with the highest point total at the end of group play advances to the 16-player, single-elimination matches. In the event two or more players in a group tie with the highest point totals, a stroke play hole-by-hole playoff will determine the player that advances to the 16 player, single-elimination matches.
3. GROUP PROCESS: Each of the top 16 players in the Official World Golf Ranking head a group. The other 48 players were divided into three categories (Nos. 17-32, 33-48, 49-64) and placed into their groups by a random draw.
4. ORDER OF PLAY: Once the four names are chosen for each of the 16 groups, when play commences Wednesday, A plays D, B plays C. Thursday, it will be A vs. C and B vs. D. That will leave A vs. B and C vs. D on Friday.
5. THE ROUND OF 16: By Saturday, when the field is down to just 16 names, traditional match play takes over - once a player loses, he is eliminated. Group 1 winner plays Group 16 winner, Group 2 winner plays Group 15 winner, etc.
6. THE ROUND OF 8: Saturday afternoon the eight winners from the morning will square off in four quarter-final matches.
7. SUNDAY FINALE: Will feature two semi-final matches in the morning, and the championship match for the Walter Hagen Cup in the afternoon.
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Titleist Brand Ambassador Rafa Cabrera-Bello shows off his welcome gift, a nod to the great music scene here in Austin.
Good Pro V1x!
Titleist Tour Representative Chris Tuten helps dial in some SureFit settings with Titleist Brand Ambassador Bernd Wiesberger.
Titleist Pro V1 loyalists Paul Casey and Charl Schwartzel are both undefeated as they get ready to face off in the third round of their group matches.
Like Rafa, Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Thomas was also excited about the new club in his bag, his custom Fender Stratocaster.
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This week, for players not competing in the WGC - Dell Match Play, the PGA Tour is also staging an opposite-field event, the Puerto Rico Open. Titleist is once again the overwhelming golf ball choice at Coco Beach Golf & Country Club, with 91 players trusting a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for their success. That’s seven times the nearest competitor with 13 and more than all competitors combined.
Titleist is also the top choice of players in the hybrids (24) and irons (37) categories. Vokey Design Wedges topped the approach, sand and lob wedge (174) category and Scotty Cameron putters were the top choice in the putter (51) category.
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