Golf Glance: Final WGC-Match Play draws elite field

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Field Level Media’s Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.

LAST TOURNAMENT: Valspar Championship (Taylor Moore)
THIS WEEK: WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Austin, Texas, March 22-26
Course: Austin Country Club (Par 71, 7,108 yards)
Purse: $20M (Winner: $3.5M)
Defending Champion: Scottie Scheffler
FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm
TV: Wednesday-Friday, 2-8 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (GC), 12-6 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (GC), 3-7 p.m. (NBC)
Streaming on ESPN+: Wednesday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. ET; Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Twitter: @DellMatchPlay
NOTES: This is the final iteration of the WGC-Match Play event at Austin Country Club. … The 64-player field is separated into 16 groups of four players who will compete in round-robin play for the first three days. Players are awarded one point for a win and a half-point for a tie, and the player with the most points advances to the single-elimination Round of 16. Ties atop groups will be broken by a sudden-death playoff. … Scheffler, who first gained the No. 1 world ranking with his win in this event last year, is assured of maintaining the top spot following this week. After winning the Phoenix Open in consecutive years, Scheffler is seeking to become the first player to successfully defend multiple titles in a year since Tiger Woods did so four times in 2007. … World No. 10 Justin Thomas is the only eligible top-10 player not in this week’s field. No. 5 Cameron Smith is not eligible after signing with LIV Golf. … Rickie Fowler is making his first start in the event since 2016. … Eight players in the field (12.5 percent) went to the University of Georgia: Harris English, Brian Harman, Russell Henley, Chris Kirk, Kevin Kisner, Keith Mitchell, Sepp Straka, Davis Thompson. So, too, did first alternate Brendon Todd. … Seventeen players in the field are making their event debuts, while Adam Scott leads the field in making his 15th start.
BEST BETS: Scheffler (+800 at BetMGM), who is coming off a win at The Players, is also the defending Match Play champ after losing in the championship match two years ago. … Rahm (+1100) returns after withdrawing from the Players due to an illness. He has advanced out of the group round in three of his five previous starts. … Rory McIlroy (+1200) has reached the Round of 16 only once in his past four starts (2019), but did win the event in 2015. … Kevin Kisner (+12500) has a strong record in match play events, including reaching the championship match of this event three times — second only to Woods’ four. He won in 2019 and went 3-0-0 in group play last year.

THIS WEEK: Corales Puntacana Championship, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, March 23-26
Course: Puntacana Resort & Club (Par 72, 7,670 yards)
Purse: $3.8M (Winner: $684,000)
Defending Champion: Chad Ramey
TV: Thursday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 2-5 p.m. (Golf Channel)
Streaming on ESPN+: Wednesday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. ET; Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Twitter: @CoralesChampionship
NOTES: The winner will receive 300 FedEx Cup points. … Ramey is seeking to become the fourth player to successfully defend a title this season as he comes off a T27 at The Players. … Joel Dahmen won the event in 2021. … Ryan Gerard needs a T57 or better to earn Special Temporary Membership on tour for the remainder of the season. … The tournament scoring record of 18-under 270 is held by three people, most recently accomplished by Hudson Swafford in 2020.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: Valero Texas Open, San Antonio, Texas, March 30-April 2

LAST TOURNAMENT: HSBC Women’s World Championship (Jin Young Ko)
THIS WEEK: LPGA Drive On Championship, Gold Canyon, Ariz., March 23-26
Course: Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club (Par 72, 6,690 yards)
Purse: $1.75M (Winner: $262,500)
Defending Champion: Leona Maguire
Race to the CME Globe leader: Nelly Korda, Jin Young Ko
TV: Thursday-Friday, 9-11 p.m. ET (Golf Channel, Tape Delayed); Saturday-Sunday, 7-9 p.m. (GC)
Streaming: Thursday-Friday, 6-9 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 6-7 p.m. (All times,, NBA Sports App)
Twitter: @LPGA
NOTES: This is the first full-field event of the 2023 season and kicks off a stretch of four events in a five-week span. … Maguire captured the 54-hole edition of the event in Fort Myers last year for her first career LPGA Tour title. … All three winners this year are in the field: Ko, Brooke Henderson and Lilia Vu. There are also six Superstition Mountain G&CC Members: Carlota Ciganda, Dana Fall, Mina Harigae, Caroline Inglis, Jennifer Kupcho and Charlotte Thomas.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: DIO Implant LA Open, Palos Verses Estates, Calif., March 30-April 2

Champions Tour
LAST TOURNAMENT: Hoag Classic (Ernie Els)
THIS WEEK: The Galleri Classic, Rancho Mirage, Calif., March 24-26
Course: Mission Hills Country Club (Par 72, 7,112 yards)
Purse: $2.2M (Winner: $330,000)
Defending Champion: Inaugural event
Charles Schwab Cup leader: Steve Stricker
TV: Friday, 6-8 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 4-7 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)
Twitter: @GalleriClassic
NOTES: John Cook, 65, said this will “probably” be the final event of his professional career. … Bernhard Langer, who failed to hold the lead at the Hoag Classic on Sunday, will again attempt to win a record 46th title on the Champions tour and break his tie with Hale Irwin.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: Invited Celebrity Classic, Irving, Texas, April 21-23

–Field Level Media

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