WGC Dell Technologies Match Play
The World Golf Championship Dell Match Play Championship is a grueling 5-day event played by 64 of the world’s best golfers at Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas.
Last year, Bubba Watson crushed the field en route to a resounding 7&6 victory over Kevin Kisner in the final. This year, Kisner learned from his previous match play experience and finished some unfinished business.
The field consists of the top 64 available golfers on the Official World Golf Ranking, and their seeds directly correspond to their OWGR ranking. All players who qualify make a paycheck, with the winner walking home with just over $1.7 million.
Match play differs from traditional stroke play in that competitors are only playing against one other player, not the entire field. Also, within a match, each hole is a separate competition and the strokes on the current hole bear no impact on subsequent holes during play.
Historically, the WGC Match Play event was a single elimination format, but in recent years it has featured 16 pods of four players who play a round robin with the winner of that pod advancing to the weekend matches.
As fans, we’re treated to a week of star-studded golf where the players throw caution to the wind and attack, attack, attack. We got to see Tiger Woods battle Rory McIlroy in the quarterfinals. Francesco Molinari continued his high level of play winning every match until losing the semi-finals 1 down against eventual winner, Kevin Kisner.
As if 7 rounds weren’t enough physical exertion or mental strain, Kevin even had to play a sudden death playoff against Ian Poulter when the two men were tied atop their pod at the conclusion of the first three rounds. Poulter, the match play master, was dispatched on the third hole of the sudden death playoff.
Kevin Kisner has seen his stock soar since 2015. He’s had 8 runner-up finishes and this marks his third career victory on the PGA Tour. His Official World Golf Ranking has skyrocketed up from 250th at the end of March of 2015 to 25th on the most recent OWGR update.
Following his 3&2 victory over Matt Kuchar, Kevin Kisner said to Steve Sands with a sly grin, “I prevailed and uhh I’m a World Golf Champion”. Not too bad for a down to earth kid from Aiken, South Carolina.
These are the clubs Kevin Kisner used to win the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play Championship. (As reported by PGATOUR):
Callaway Apex UT (3-4)
Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120TX
Callaway Apex Pro
Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120TX
Odyssey White Hot Pro #7
Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship
Another PGA Tour event was held this weekend in the Dominican Republic for the players who failed to qualify for the Dell Technologies Match Play.
Graeme McDowell, or G-Mac as he’s affectionately called, put together 4 rounds of great golf to capture his first professional (PGA or European Tour) golf win since 2015.
The alternate events are for players whose Official World Golf Ranking prohibits them from playing in the WGC events.
The Puntacana Championship offers a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour, 300 FedEx cup points and 24 OWGR points to the winner. These alternate tournaments present a great opportunity for those players to lock in some future security. That security is something that many young players salivate over, especially competing against less formidable fields.
Hero Indian Open
Playing one group in front of the final threesome, Stephen Gallacher entered the final day of the Hero Indian Open trailing by 3 strokes. After an eventful 7th hole on Sunday, which saw Stephen hit 4 balls from the tee (3 of which counted) on his way to an 8 on the hole, he found himself 5 shots off the pace.
Though, he kept his nerve, and the man with more birdies than any other competitor got right back to work steadying the ship with a par on the 8th.
He played the remaining holes in 5-under and finished the tournament at 9-under. With Masahiro Kawamura the only man with a chance to catch Gallacher’s in the clubhouse score, Kawamura’s effort came up one shot short.
The 44-year-old Scotsman hadn’t won a European Tour tournament since the 2014 Omega Dubai Desert Classic, that is until this weekend. After 1,883 days, Gallacher can be called a champion again.
Rapiscan Systems Classic
The PGA Champions Tour hit the Mississippi bayou for the Rapiscan Systems Classic and over-extended their stay into Monday. Kevin Sutherland held a tournament record 3-shot lead after 36 holes, but surrendered his advantage in tough, windy conditions on Sunday.
When all the commotion settled at the end of 54 holes, Sutherland and Scott Parel found themselves tied at 7-under par and headed to a sudden death playoff.
The first hole of sudden death they played 18, both made a par. The second hole of the playoff they played 18 and Sutherland had a chance to close it out with a 3-foot par putt, the chance dove under the hole and both made bogey.
On the third hole of the playoff, they played hole 10 and both men made par. The fourth hole of the sudden death playoff returned the men back to the tricky 18th, once again both made par. With light fading fast, the fifth hole of the playoff was again split with pars and would be the final hole played on Sunday.
On a chilly Monday morning, they returned to the 18th tee to settle the championship, but much like the day before, both men made a par on the sixth hole of the playoff.
Finally, on the seventh extra hole, Kevin Sutherland was able to roll in a birdie and lock up the Rapiscan Systems Classic victory. A tired and emotional Sutherland exhaled and expressed his jubilation. After re-living the missed 3-foot putt on the second hole of the playoff, he was relieved to have converted the second chance at the title.
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