WGC Dell Match Play — The Real March Madness

Finally finished with the Sunshine Slate, my only regret is that the media was still calling it the Florida Swing. But there’s always next year to get people to realize that Sunshine Slate is the better name! For now however, the Tour is moving to Texas and a two tournament stretch, something that might be called the #TexasTwoStepTour possibly? Whatever the name, golf doesn’t want to be outdone by the NCAA March Madness, so it decided to put its match play tournament during the second week of college basketball’s version. It’s time to watch the Dell Match Play!

Music, and I apologize for putting in such an annoying song, but read below to the Tiger Woods section and you’ll see that this song’s title was used in a quote below. Actually, since the quote was from 2006, I’m going to assume it inspired Ellie Goulding to write this song.

What to watch for:

Pool play

Probably the biggest difference from that other bracket tournament, and have to say, a great change to the event, is the pool play. Started in 2015, the WGC Match Play went from single knockout (one and done), to having a 3 round pool play with groups of 4. Each group will have one player ranked 1-16, one player 17th-32nd, one player ranked 33rd-48th, and one player ranked 49th to 64th. The example given on the Dell Match Play’s website says you could have a group featuring Jordan Spieth (1), Matt Kuchar (22), Justin Thomas (37), and Graeme McDowell (64). Have fun in that group.

There also was a selection show that set the bracket / group taking place on Monday evening. Fortunately, nobody really cares about the Dell Match Play bracket, so they could afford to take some time to announce it, unlike CBS who got blasted for wasting everyone’s time by not announcing the NCAA basketball bracket at the start of the broadcast. Unfortunately, Charles Barkley wasn’t present at the golf bracket unveiling to show he doesn’t know how to use a touch screen tv.

Participants actually make money

Time to shit on the NCAA!  According to an article on Forbes, last year, “an estimated $205 million was paid to participating conferences”. Also, the “Kentucky Wildcats which earned $8.2 million for making it to the Final Four”. One of the main arguments I hear about the NCAA is that fans are supporting the schools, not necessarily the players. Kentucky specifically got the money on the back of the talent of the players! How are they not getting any of this money?!?! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not gonna sit here and suggest that college golfers get paid money for competing. Can’t say I brought in any money to the university. But every one of Kentucky’s games is being broadcasted on tv. People pay big money to watch them play live. The players absolutely deserve some of that money. Anyway, last year Rory got over $1.5 million for winning, and if you went 0-3 in the pool play round, you still went home with exactly (before taxes) $49,385. /rant

Wednesday Golf!

With so many rounds to fit in one week,  (you need to play 7 rounds to win, granted not necessarily 18 holes a round if you’re dominating) the Dell Match Play starts on Wednesday.

Actually looking at the schedule, we’re in a lot of great golf from Wednesday to Friday. With group play, there’ll be 32 matches a day on the course, and the Golf Channel has coverage from 2-8 Eastern time.

Crappy weekend golf

Unfortunately, by the time the weekend rolls around, there won’t be much to watch on tv. The round of 16 on Saturday morning, round of 8 in the afternoon. That’s 4 matches to watch. Come Sunday, you’re only watching the championship and consolation matches in the afternoon. Imagine all the filler time NBC is going to have to throw in there.

Let’s be honest, at that point, you’re probably watching the Elite Eight games, playing golf yourself, or searching for easter eggs that you forgot where you hid.

Austin Country Club

Austin Country Club will host this year’s event for the first time.

The match play has gone through a few courses in the past couple years. Played at Dove Mountain from ’09-’14, the event featured a snow storm that delayed the start of the tournament and forced a general reschedule of events.

Snow is quite annoying

Snow is quite annoying when you’re trying to golf.

Last year, the event moved to TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, where Rory McIlroy, who has now fallen to No. 3 in the world after Jason Day’s win, beat everyone, and then posed with some police men yielding a rather bizarre photo.

asdf

What an odd photo.

This year however, we’re moving to Austin Country Club which I had never heard of, but looks really sweet based on the pics I’m seeing on the internet.

austin-cc

Though the club dates back to 1899, the current course and club location was finished in 1984. The front 9 runs though land that looks like typical Texas. Higher land and semi-rolling hills. The back nine, featured in the picture above, is in the flatlands around lake Austin.

Weekly Tiger Woods Mention!

I swear I’m not trying to force you into reading stories about Tiger every week. But it just so happens that he’s done something noteworthy in pretty much every event on Tour. So this week, I’m going to retell the story of when Tiger Woods beat Stephen Ames 9&8 in the first round of the 2006 Accenture Match Play.

Leading up to the match, the then number 1 ranked golfer in the world heard a little back talk from 64th ranked Ames, saying that “Anything can happen, especially where he’s [Tiger’s] hitting the ball.” And now you know why I put that terrible Ellie Goulding song at the top of the article!

Well Tiger didn’t take too well to those comments, and went out and thrashed Ames 9&8. For those who don’t really know how match play is scored 1) congrats on reading this far down an article that’s previewing a golf tournament, and 2) it means that of the 10 holes they played, Tiger won 9, and they had the same score on only one.

Tiger’s quote after the beatdown, in response to a question asking if Ames’s comments had an effect on the outcome: “You might say that.” Savage.

Puerto Rico

Might as well give a shoutout to the Puerto Rico Open, a Tour event being played opposite of the match play. I was watching a commercial talking about this event and apparently John Daly is playing, and the tournament gives out FedEx Cup points. Literally the best thing they could say about why someone should watch the tournament is that John Daly is playing, and they give out points for the end of the year events. But hey, PGA Tour golf is PGA Tour golf.

Finally, here’s a picture of the two Dell monitors that I have at work. Righty doesn’t know how to sit straight up, so he doesn’t get used too often.

Righty is sad

Righty is sad

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