What has happened so far?
The 64 players competing this week were placed into 16 groups of 4, in which they played head-to-head matches in a round-robin style. The winner of a match would bag a point, the loser would get nothing, and a draw would give each player half a point. Top player in each group advances to the ‘Round of 16’ and so on…
So far, 48 players have been eliminated, including Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas (winner of the Players Championship), Dustin Johnson (world number one) and the huge hitting Bryson DeChambeau. Arguably, the highlight of the group stage would have to be Sergio Garcia, with the help of a playoff, advancing from group that consisted of a trio of Englishman – Lee Westwood, Tyrell Hatton and Matthew Fitzpatrick – that were trying to stop him.
World number 3, John Rahm, made it through after defeating American Ryan Palmer, while reigning champion, Kevin Kisner lost out to Matt Kuchar. In fact, Kuchar was only one of two players to win all three group games. The other being Englishman Ian Poulter.
Round of 16
Seedings in parentheses
Match 1: Jordan Spieth (49) vs Matt Kuchar (52)
Match 2: Bubba Watson (55) vs Brian Harman (54)
Match 3: Ian Poulter (60) vs Scottie Scheffler (30)
Match 4: John Rahm (3) vs Erik van Rooynen (62)
Match 5: Kevin Streelman (53) vs Bill Horschel (32)
Match 6: Tommy Fleetwood (21) vs Dylan Fritelli (64)
Match 7: Mackenzie Hughes (48) vs Sergio Garcia (39)
Match 8: Robert MacIntyre (41) vs Victor Perez (31)
Some interesting ties for viewers, none more interesting than the opening match of the round.
Who is the likely winner?
Picking the winner in a match play tournament is never easy. Players who can drive a million miles don’t tend to be as successful when the opponent is not the course. So, if you can hit some good iron shots, and putt well, you are very difficult to beat. This brings the likes of Tommy Fleetwood, and John Rahm in with a great chance. However, before we start crowning one of the two aforementioned players, let’s not forget the consistency of Matt Kuchar or the never say die attitude of Ian Poulter.