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WGC Match Play Preview : Rahm And Hatton Two Against The Field

Golf previews
Last Updated : 20th March, 2018 By Alex M
Austin Country Club, Texas
Wednesday, March 21st at 12:00
Live on Sky Sports
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Rory McIlroy is now the favourite for this week’s WGC Match Play and wouldn’t sniff at the vast prize on offer for winning the event. However, his main medium term target is winning the US Masters next month and completing the career Grand Slam. Only five players have won each of the four majors at least once and the Masters is now his priority so other players are preferred this week. Our two against the field are Jon Rahm and Tyrell Hatton who you can back using your bookmaker golf free bet.   

The format of the first stages of the event is 16 groups of four players who compete against each other on a round robin basis. The group winners progress to the knockout stage of the tournament. The first player in each group is determined by world rankings and after tat the groups are determined by a random draw. The number one seed is Dustin Johnson (9/1 with Ladbrokes 18+ Ts and Cs Apply) and if the matches go to the form he will meet Justin Thomas in the final. Rahm is the number three seed and Hatton is number 12. 

The group format was introduced to replace the straight 64 knockout draw with players in four brackets. In the old format first round losers would only play one match but now all the competitors are guaranteed three group meetings over 18 holes. Despite the short format world ranking is a good guide to the likely outcome of group and knockout matches. Johnson is the defending champion and the only player to have won four different World Golf Championship events. 

McIlroy (15/2 with Unibet 18+ Ts and Cs Apply) is the number six seed and has been given a kind draw. He plays Brian Harman, Jhonattan Vegas and Peter Uihlein in the group phase. McIlroy will be full of confidence after his brilliant win in the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Saturday but Harman is a battler, Vegas will have plenty of support and Uhlein is untried because this is his match play debut and he could take to the format and relish the challenge. However, McIlroy should have enough to progress to a relatively easy last 16 match.   

Rahm, backable at 12/1 with William Hill (18+ Ts and Cs Apply) has drawn players at number 28, 43 and 63 in the rankings and other leading contenders have been handed a tougher draw. The Spanish youngster has a game suited to match play golf in that he is positive and aggressive. In stroke play one bad shot can be compounded resulting in a number of lost strokes but in match play the damage is limited to one hole and there is time to recover. Rahm lost in the final to Johnson last year but can go one better this time.   

Rahm’s projected opponent at the first knockout stage is Phil Mickelson won for the first time since the Open Championship in 2013 at the WGC WGC Mexico Championship three weeks ago when he beat world number two Thomas in a playoff. He reached the quarter-finals last year and is another player suited to head-to-head golf but Rahm should have too much. Hatton is in the other half of the draw and looks in good shape after finishing tied 3rd in his last WGC event in Mexico but JON RAHM is the main tip. Tip

JON RAHM has the game and coursde from to win the WGC Match Play. 

Get odds of 12/1 on Jon Rahm with William Hill. (18+ Ts and Cs Apply)


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  • There is a field of 64 players based on world rankings.
  • The top 16 competing players are seeded also based on world rankings.
  • There are 16 groups of 4 players and the group winner’s progress.
  • Austin Country Club is the host course from 2016 to 2019.
  • Since the first event in 1999 five number one seeds have won.
  • The lowest seeded winner was Kevin Sutherland in 2002 (62).
  • Twelve of the 19 winners had single figure seedings.
  • Jason Day, Geoff Ogilvy and Tiger Woods are the only multiple winners.
  • There have been nine winners from overseas and 10 US winners.
  • One final when Day beat Victor Dubuisson in 2014 went beyond regulation holes.   

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