Pools for WGC-Cadillac Match Play set

By Nick MentaApril 27, 2015, 3:30 pm

The WGC-Cadillac Match Play has a new format, with round-robin play over the first three days at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Calif. The field of 64 is split into 16 groups of four players, with one winner from each pool advancing to one-and-done match play over the weekend. The groups were set Monday via a live selection show on Golf Channel. Here's how things are played out. Scroll from bottom to top (All times ET):

1:07PM: The matchups are set. Here are your groups for Wednesday-Friday's pool play:

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
Rory McIlroy Jordan Spieth Henrik Stenson Bubba Watson
Billy Horschel Lee Westwood  Bill Haas Louis Oosthuizen
Brandt Snedeker  Matt Every  Brendon Todd  Keegan Bradley 
Jason Dufner  Mikko Ilonen  John Senden  Miguel Angel Jimenez 
Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
Jim Furyk Justin Rose Jason Day Dustin Johnson
Martin Kaymer  Ryan Palmer Zach Johnson  Victor Dubuisson
Thongchai Jaidee  Anirban Lahiri  Branden Grace  Charl Schwartzel 
George Coetzee  Marc Leishman  Charley Hoffman  Matt Jones 
Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
Adam Scott Sergio Garcia Jimmy Walker J.B. Holmes
Chris Kirk Jamie Donaldson  Ian Poulter Brooks Koepka
Paul Casey  Bernd Wiesberger Webb Simpson  Russell Henley 
Francesco Molinari  Tommy Fleetwood Gary Woodland  Marc Warren 
Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
Rickie Fowler Matt Kuchar Patrick Reed Hideki Matsuyama
Graeme McDowell  Hunter Mahan Ryan Moore  Kevin Na 
Shane Lowry  Stephen Gallacher  Danny Willett  Joost Luiten 
Harris English  Ben Martin  Andy Sullivan Alexander Levy 

1:02PM: And in the final group, Jimmy Walker gets the unenviable task of dealing with Ian Poulter. Webb Simpson and Gary Woodland get Poulter, too. It's match play. No wants Poulter. He's the 2010 WGC champion, 22-12 at this event, and 4-0-1 in Ryder Cup singles.

1:00PM: Sunday's Zurich champion Justin Rose pulls Ryan Palmer, Anirban Lahiri, and Marc Leishman. Rose was overpowering at Gleneagles last fall. Leishman is back after pulling out of the Masters because of a family health scare.

12:58PM: Skechers pitchman Matt Kuchar gets a Ryder Cup teammate, Hunter Mahan, a Ryder Cup rival, Stephen Gallacher, and Ben Martin. Mahan won this event in 2012, and then lost in the final to Kuchar in 2013.

12:56PM: The No. 3 player in the world Henrik Stenson comes away with Bill Haas, Brendon Todd and John Senden. Stenson 13-7 at the WGC-Match Play. The winner in 2007.

12:49PM: In Group 10, Sergio Garcia finds Ryder Cup teammate Jamie Donaldson, Bernd Wiesberger and Tommy Fleetwood. European hearts beat a quicker beat.

12:46PM: Defending champion Jason Day gets Zach Johnson, Branden Grace and Charley Hoffman. You'd expect to see Day get out of this one and put up a fight to retain his title.

12:43PM: Patrick Reed faces 2004 U.S. Amateur champion Ryan Moore, Danny Willett and Andy Sullivan in Group 15. With these last two groups set to square off Saturday, will we get a showdown between Ryder Cup partners Spieth and Reed? Can Sean O'Hair join them? Valspar was fun.

12:41PM: Our Masters champion is up. In Group 2, Jordan Spieth lands Lee Westwood, Matt Every, and Mikko Ilonen. Westwood has plenty of match-play experience, but a 14-21 combined WGC and Ryder Cup singles record.

12:35PM: In Group 12, it'll be a deep-ball contest between two guys who have already won on Tour this year: J.B. Holmes and Brooks Koepka. Russell Henley and Marc Warren round it out.

12:33PM: A face off between two U.S. Open champions highlights Group 5. It'll be Jim Furyk vs. Martin Kaymer, with Thongchai Jaidee and George Coetzee.

12:31PM: Rickie Fowler draws a match-play nightmare in Graeme McDowell. McDowell is 3-1 in Ryder Cup singles, 9-8 in the WGC, and, like Casey, a former Volvo World Match Play champion. They're joined Shane Lowry and Harris English.

12:28PM: Group 4 features a rematch of the 2012 Masters playoff between Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen. Those two are joined by match-play enthuiast Keegan Bradley and the Dos Equis guy: Miguel Angel Jimenez.

12:22PM: Across from Group 8, Group 9 pools Adam Scott, Chris Kirk, Paul Casey and Francesco Molinari. Casey is a three-time Ryder Cupper who has twice made, and lost, the Match Play final (2009, 2010). Also won the European Tour's World Match Play Championship in 2006.

12:20PM: Dustin Johnson will be joined in Group 8 by Victor Dubuisson, Charl Schwartzel and Matt Jones. Dubuisson lost to Jason Day in the final last year. Schwartzel took down DJ at the Presidents Cup in 2011.

12:18PM: The winner of Group 1 will play the winner of Group 16, consisting of Hideki Matsuyama, Kevin Na, Joost Luiten, and Alexander Levy.

12:15PM: And we're off. Group 1: Rory McIlroy, Billy Horschel, Brandt Snedeker, and Jason Dufner. That's two major champions, and two FedEx Cup champions. McIlroy and Horschel played together in the final group at last year's Tour Championship and actually squared off twice in match play at the 2007 Walker Cup. Split the matches.

12:05PM: Talk of a "Group of Death" ensues. Can we get this guy to the studio, ASAP?


Noon: The selection show is underway with ping-pong balls rattling around plastic bowls to determine who is going where, meaning the New York Knicks will get the No. 1 pick. Ewing vs. Rory?

11:35AM: Here is a look at the overall field. The top 16 players will comprise the No. 1 seeds in each group, with one player from the other three groups joining them:

Top 16
1. Rory McIlroy
2. Jordan Spieth
3. Henrik Stenson
4. Bubba Watson
5. Jim Furyk
6. Justin Rose
7. Jason Day
8. Dustin Johnson
9. Adam Scott
10. Sergio Garcia
11. Jimmy Walker
12. J.B. Holmes
13. Rickie Fowler
14. Matt Kuchar
15. Patrick Reed
16. Hideki Matsuyama
Group 17-32
17. Martin Kaymer
18. Billy Horschel
19. Brooks Koepka
20. Kevin Na
21. Victor Dubuisson
22. Ryan Palmer
23. Bill Haas
24. Zach Johnson
25. Chris Kirk
26. Lee Westwood
27. Ian Poulter
28. Ryan Moore
29. Louis Oosthuizen
30. Jamie Donaldson
31. Hunter Mahan
32. Graeme McDowell
Group 33-48
33. Keegan Bradley
34. Anirban Lahiri
35. Brandt Snedeker
36. Paul Casey
37. Charl Schwartzel
38. Branden Grace
39. Bernd Wiesberger
40. Matt Every
41. Stephen Gallacher
42. Brendon Todd
43. Joost Luiten
44. Thongchai Jaidee
45. Russell Henley
46. Webb Simpson
47. Shane Lowry
48. Danny Willett
Group 49-64
49. Charley Hoffman
50. Gary Woodland
51. Marc Warren
52. Alexander Levy
53. Jason Dufner
54. Tommy Fleetwood
55. Harris English
56. Marc Leishman
57. Andy Sullivan
58. Matt Jones
59. George Coetzee
60. John Senden
61. Ben Martin
62. Mikko Ilonen
63. Miguel A. Jimenez
64. Francesco Molinari



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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.