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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS Course History - WGC Dell Technologies Match Play

Welcome back RotoBaller PGA family! Matt Jones played so well at PGA National that the Honda Classic turned into a snoozefest by Sunday afternoon. Jones won by five against a field that we knew going in was fairly watered-down compared to previous editions of the Honda. However, it was still an impressive - and huge - win for the Aussie veteran who has been sneaky-good this season.

We finally move out of Florida this week and head to Texas for one of the most unique events on the PGA Tour schedule, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Hopefully, we all got a little bracket practice last week for the NCAA basketball tournament!

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

Featured Promo: New for 2023, we've added A LOT of new exclusive PGA articles, picks, and tools to our PGA Premium Packages! Spencer Aguiar, one of the most successful PGA bettors in the industry, now features 10+ weekly articles with his exclusive picks, rankings and models in the TeeOffSports VIP subscription. Win big in 2023! Sign Up Now!


WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Overview

After an exciting Florida Swing, we now head to Austin, Texas for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event. It's the only match play event on the PGA Tour schedule and a break from the normal stroke-play tournaments that we see on a weekly basis. The Match Play seems to inspire either love or hate from golf fans, but has been embraced by DraftKings as a viable DFS event.

With last year's WGC-Match Play cancelled due to COVID-19, Kevin Kisner comes in as the official defending champion of this event. The Kiz triumphed over Matt Kuchar at Austin Country Club back in 2019. He's set to defend against a field of the world's best golfers in a bracket-style format that will once again feature "group" or "pod" play in the opening round, with four golfers squaring off against each other to see who will advance to the more traditional pairings throughout the rest of the tournament. It's a change that's been met with mixed reviews as it has largely been effective in keeping the marquee names in the event longer, but has also led to the event losing some of its cool David vs Goliath charm.

Obviously, this week creates some hurdles in PGA DFS formats. My most important piece of advice is to simply "give yourselves a chance"...meaning study the brackets carefully and don't roster players that could face each other in early rounds of the competition. While it's not likely, you want to keep your DFS lineups alive for a chance of having all four of the players in the Semifinals. For that reason, this week's HFTC will feature one golfer from each "region" of the bracket, as well as a couple of "bracket buster " selections with match play experience!

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!


The Course: Austin Country Club

Par 71 - 7,108 Yards, Greens: Bermuda, Designed By: Pete Dye

For the second time in three weeks we head to a Pete Dye-designed course. Austin Country Club has settled in nicely as the home of the only match play event on the PGA Tour schedule. It has all the usual trappings of a Dye track with emphasis placed on approach shots, water heavily in play on the back nine, and plenty of holes with great risk/reward options.

The front and back nines are rather different, with the front focusing on natural elevations and the back bringing Lake Austin into play. In typical Dye fashion, both short and long hitters have fared well here...though I'd still give distance a bit of a bump this week. The Par-5's are gettable and a driveable Par-4 offers some juicy, late-match drama.

For an in-depth breakdown of this week's course, check out RotoBaller's PGA Premium Course Breakdown by Josh Bennett!


Recent Champions

  • 2020: Cancelled
  • 2019: Kevin Kisner
  • 2018: Bubba Watson
  • 2017: Dustin Johnson
  • 2016: Jason Day


The Horses

Region 1: Dustin Johnson

DraftKings: $11,500

Career Singles Match Play Record (Including WGC-Match Play, Ryder Cup, & President's Cup): 20-16-1, 2017 WGC-Match Play Champion

Ok, I gotta admit, this is kinda fun! I've had mixed feelings about this event in the past, but the bracket format does add a little juice to our weekly routine. My first impression after checking out the Group pairings this morning is just how easy Dustin Johnson's Group feels in comparison to the other top seeds in this event.

Now, we know anything can happen in match play, but DJ's draw of Kevin Na, Robert MacIntyre, and Adam Long in the Group Stage would appear to offer little resistance to the world's top-ranked player, while a potential Round of 16 matchup would come against one of: Sungjae Im, Victor Perez, Marc Leishman, or Russell Henley. While that certainly isn't a group of pushovers, Johnson should be able to any of the bunch in theory.

While the Quarterfinals would - obviously - get tougher, DJ wouldn't technically have to face an opponent ranked in the OWGR top-five until the Semifinals. Toss in the fact that he's perhaps the best player in the world, won the 2017 version of this event, and has an overall strong record in both Ryder & President's Cup action...and Johnson makes a ton of sense as a "spend-up" option this week.

Region 2: Jordan Spieth

DraftKings: $9,300

Career Singles Match Play Record: 12-12-2

Our boy Jordan Spieth is FINALLY trending in the right direction this year! Spieth has notched top-five finishes in three of his last five starts and gained strokes on Approach in four of five. He's gained an average of 4.5 strokes on Approach over his last five tournament appearances and ranks eight in this week's WGC field in SG: Approach over the last 12 rounds. In addition to the trending form, this is week is almost a "home game" for the University of Texas alum and Texas native.

I honestly thought Spieth's match play record was better than it actually is (he's been amazing in Team Match Play formats), but we also know that he's been taking things on the chin for basically the last three years or so. I've always been a huge fan of Spieth's mental toughness and now that his game is showing seriously-strong signs of life, he feels like a natural in this Match Play format at Austin Country Club.

His initial Group draw isn't too scary, but the trio of Corey Conners, Matthew Wolff, and Matthew Fitzpatrick certainly has some talent. If Spieth is able to advance from Group play, his lowly 49-seed won't do him any favors, as names like Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, and Patrick Reed are potential opponents in this tough Region.


Region 3: Jon Rahm

DraftKings: $10,700

Career Singles Match Play Record: 8-4-2, 2017 WGC-Match Play Runner-Up

Outside of Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm is my favorite "elite" option on the board this week. As chance would have it, those two met in the 2017 WGC-Match Play finals, with DJ getting the best of a young Rahmbo. The Spaniard again demonstrated his match-play prowess in the 2018 Ryder Cup, defeating Tiger Woods 2 and 1 at Le Golf National.

In addition to his match-play ability, Rahm has been rock-solid overall in 2021, posting three top-10s and a top-five in his six starts this year. He stands fourth in this elite field in SG: T2G over the last 24 rounds and - rather remarkably - has gained strokes both total and T2G in every single start since August of last year.

Rahm's opening Group draw is a good one. Despite being grouped with well-known players Shane Lowry, Ryan Palmer, and Sebastian Munoz, the trio combines for a career record of 7-17-3 in singles match-play competition. If he's able to survive that opening pod, things would also be fairly wide open for him in the Round of 16, with his potential opponent being one of Daniel Berger, Harris English, Brendon Todd, or Erik van Rooyen. Overall, it's a draw that gives him a reasonably-simple path to the Quarterfinals.


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Region 4: Abraham Ancer

DraftKings: $7,700

Career Singles Match Play Record: 2-2

We can expect Bryson DeChambeau to garner the majority of the attention in this region, with the dynamic duo of Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland also lurking. However, we can't spend up across the board and Abraham Ancer sticks out as a viable discount option here.

His match-play record isn't extensive, but Ancer showed some fight in last year's WGC-Match Play with wins over Cameron Smith and Charles Howell III. The Mexican also got his first taste of President's Cup pressure at the close of 2019. Despite receiving a trouncing at the hands of Tiger Woods after making some remarks that were merely a display of self confidence, I like how Ancer hung tough in Australia and appreciate the belief he has in himself.

Many predicted a breakout 2021 for Ancer, as he's still in search of his first PGA Tour win. After a hit and miss start to the year, his play has solidified nicely over the past month, with top-25 results in each of his last two starts at the WGC-Workday and THE PLAYERS. Over the last 12 rounds, Ancer grades out an impressive 12th in this elite field in SG: T2G.

Bracket Busters

Jason Day

DraftKings: $8,400

Career Singles Match Play Record: 24-14, 2016 & 2014 WGC-Match Play Champion

If we're relying on "course history" (i.e. match play records) this week, then we have to give Jason Day a serious look. Day is a two-time winner of this WGC event, who - when also considering President's Cup action - has amassed an extremely impressive 24-14 match play record as a professional.

The Aussie is always a legitimate WD candidate, but if Day tees it up, his match play history and recent form make him a hard out. Unfortunately, Day was placed in what I'm calling "THE GROUP OF DEATH"...a pod that also includes Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler, and Andy Sullivan. Obviously, this isn't ideal, but it perhaps gives us a chance to catch Day at reduced ownership in DFS tournaments.

Sergio Garcia

DraftKings: $8,300

Career Singles Match Player Record: 38-29-4

The Spaniard is something of a match-play legend and has amassed an amazing 38 singles match victories throughout his career. Garcia has also shown an affinity for this Austin Country Club layout, advancing out of the Group Stage in each of his last two appearance in this event. The veteran heads to this year's Match Play with his arrow pointing in the right direction...he's fresh off a top-10 at THE PLAYERS and grades out second in this WGC field in SG: Approach over the last 12 rounds.

Louis Oosthuizen

DraftKings: $8,100

Career Singles Match Record: 23-14-3, 2016 WGC-Match Play Runner-Up

As his career record indicates, Louis' match play experience is extensive. He fell in the 2016 WGC-Match Play final to Jason Day and has made multiple deep runs in this event. Oosthuizen is in a brutal group with Justin Thomas, and 2019 WGC-Match Play finalists, Kevin Kisner & Matt Kuchar, so there's a possibility that his ownership will take a hit as a result. However, don't discount the South African who has been sneaky-good in 2021.



Win Big With RotoBaller

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Our very own Joe Nicely recently took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win big.

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