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Assessing the field at Match Play

By Wes Reynolds  () 

USATSI_15730190
Matt Jones picked up his second career PGA Tour victory with a five-shot victory over Brandon Hagy last weekend at the Honda Classic. The win puts Jones in the Official World Golf Ranking top 50 for the first time. But he will not play in this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, as the OWGR rankings for entry were cut off 10 days ago. However, most of the world’s top 64 players will be in Austin, Texas, for the PGA Tour version of March Madness. 
 
Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka are missing with injuries, Justin Rose is dealing with back spasms that forced his withdrawal from the Arnold Palmer Invitational and caused him to miss the Players Championship, and Gary Woodland is still in quarantine after a positive COVID-19 test. Adam Scott has chosen not to play this week as he rests for the Masters. Match-play ace and 2010 event winner Ian Poulter (100-1), Erik van Rooyen, Adam Long, J.T. Poston and Dylan Frittelli will take their places.
 
Players champion Justin Thomas, the No. 2 seed, is the betting favorite at 12-1. But he is in a pool with two former winners of this event in Kevin Kisner (2019) and Matt Kuchar (2014), plus 2016 runner-up Louis Oosthuizen. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson (14-1) won this event in 2017 over world No. 3 Jon Rahm (also 14-1) in the final. Johnson will be part of a pool including Kevin Na, Robert MacIntyre and Long. Rahm’s group consists of Ryan Palmer, with whom he paired to win the 2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, British Open champion Shane Lowry and Sebastian Munoz. World No. 4 Collin Morikawa (20-1) makes his first Match Play appearance as the top seed in his pool of Billy Horschel, Max Homa and Poston. Fifth seed Bryson DeChambeau (14-1) draws Tommy Fleetwood, Si Woo Kim and Abraham Ancer. Several other recent Match Play champions are also in Austin this week, including 2018 champion Bubba Watson (80-1), 2016 winner Jason Day (35-1) and 2014 champ Rory McIlroy (18-1). 
 
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