Who will win the 2017 WGC Dell Match Play Championship? This is the only match play event on the PGA Tour schedule. Our staff provides predictions and analysis. The 2017 WGC Dell Match Play Championship is scheduled for March 22-26 at Austin Country Club.
WGC Match Play: 2015 champion, fourth in 2016 and second in 2012.
2016 Ryder Cup: 3-2 (0-1 singles)
Majors/WGC: 4 + 2
WGC Match Play: 2014 & 2016 champion, third in 2013.
2015 Presidents Cup: 0-4-1
Majors/WGC: 1 + 2
WGC Match Play: 2016 runner-up, T5 in 2014 & 2015.
2015 Presidents Cup: 4-0-1
Majors/WGC: 1 + 0
WGC Match Play: Best finish is T5 (2016).
2016 Ryder Cup: 2-2 (1-0 singles)
Majors/WGC: 1 + 4
WGC Match Play: 2013 winner, two other top-5s (QFs).
2016 Ryder Cup: 2-2 (0-1 singles)
Majors/WGC: 0 + 1
WGC Match Play: Best finish is T17.
2016 Ryder Cup: 3-1-1
Majors/WGC: 0 + 1
WGC Match Play: Best finish is T5.
2016 Ryder Cup: 2-2-1 (0-1 singles)
Majors/WGC: 2 + 0
WGC Match Play: Second in 2009 and 2010, two other quarterfinals.
2008 Ryder Cup: 0-1-2
Winner: Rory McIlroy. Dustin Johnson may be the world no. 1 player, but McIlroy is arguably the most powerful player in the game right now. The Northern Irish star possesses an uncanny ability to come up with spectacular play when he needs it. After shooting a pedestrian 74 and 71 to barely make the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he shot 65 and 69 to nearly capture the title. This level of power quotient makes him a potent match player. When he is on his game, he is capable of dominating his opponent. When he is off his game, he could still come up with quality play that could propel him to a narrow win. No lead is safe in an one-on-one match with the former top ranked player. Not surprisingly, McIlroy is a past WGC Match Play champion with two other top-4 finishes. Even with the unpredictable nature of match play, Rory is an excellent bet for a top-5 finish and a solid bet for a victory.
Dark Horse: Rafael Cabrera-Bello. The Spanish player is a highly underrated match player. He went undefeated (2-0-1) at the 2016 Ryder Cup, where Europe was walloped by the U.S. and veteran stars like Garcia, Rose and Stenson finished with a losing record. He finished solo third at last year’s WGC Match Play with wins over defending champion Rory McIlroy, former U.S. Amateur winner Ryan Moore and Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama. Cabrera-Bello's match play success lies in the strength of his putting and short game. If he putts well this week, another great run like last year is not out of the question.