The anticipated field of 64 for next week's WGC-Dell Match Play Championship has been set, and it's a group that surprisingly won't include match-play specialist Ian Poulter.
Poulter finished T-67 at the Valspar Championship, a result that dropped him four spots to No. 67 in the latest world rankings. With the match-play field cutoff extending to No. 66 to account for the expected absences of Henrik Stenson and Jim Furyk, that left Poulter one spot short.
Poulter began the year ranked No. 56, but he has not cracked the top 40 in his last four worldwide starts. As a result, the Englishman - who has starred in multiple Ryder Cups and won the 2010 WGC Match Play for his lone PGA Tour title - is slated to miss the event for the first time since 2003.
Should anyone withdraw, however, Poulter would be first in line to replace them. It's a plausible scenario after world No. 35 Danny Lee withdrew during the final round at Innisbrook because of a wrist injury.
While Poulter slid outside the bubble, Patton Kizzire moved in. The rookie finished T-33 in Tampa and jumped three spots to No. 65 in the latest standings, affording him his first career WGC start.
Although the preliminary field is set, seeds will not be determined until after this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational. At that point, players will be split into pods of 16 based on seed and randomly drawn to fill out the four-man groups that will comprise pool play. This year's event will be held at Austin (Texas) Country Club, where Rory McIlroy will defend the title he won last year at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.