WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: 5 matches worth watching on Wednesday

The world’s best players are bound for Austin, Texas, for a unique stop on the men’s professional golf schedule.

Austin Country Club plays host to the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play once again this week. With the top-12 players in the Golfweek/Sagarin men’s ranking, as well as 64 of the top 69 in the Official World Golf Ranking set to compete, there are some matches that stand out among the rest.

On Wednesday alone a handful of European-dominated matches to watch include a couple pairs of Ryder Cup stalwarts squaring off, as well as two of the European Tour’s Angry Golfers.

Check out the top five opening day matches in Austin.

Rory McIlroy vs. Ian Poulter – 10:30 a.m.

Seeing McIlroy and Poulter play against each other will be weird for most golf fans. Over three competitions, the pair are 2-1-1 when paired together at the Ryder Cup. Most recently in 2018 they defeated Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson 4&2 in the afternoon foursomes on Friday and lost to Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth 4&3 the following afternoon.

McIlroy is in search of his fourth WGC title having previously won the 2014 Bridgestone Invitational, 2015 Match Play and 2019 HSBC Champions. Poulter is playing for his third WGC title following wins in 2010 at the Match Play and 2012 at the HSBC Champions.

Patrick Reed vs. Bubba Watson – 12:20 p.m.

Reed and Watson sounds like a bad buddy-cop movie, but the Americans both have two WGC wins, as well as a bit of history in WGC events. At the 2014 Cadillac Championship, Reed won by one stroke over Watson and Jamie Donaldson.

Justin Thomas vs. Matt Kuchar – 1:04 p.m.

Kuchar is no stranger to match-play success with his win at the 2013 event, while Thomas is looking for his third WGC title after claiming the 2018 Bridgestone Invitational and the renamed FedEx St. Jude Invitational in 2020.

Tyrrell Hatton vs. Matt Wallace – 3:16 p.m.

Two of the stars of the European Tour’s “Angry Golfers” video. What more can you ask for?

Lee Westwood vs. Sergio Garcia – 3:27 p.m.

Westwood, 47, logged consecutive runner-up finishes before running out of gas last week at the Honda Classic. In 61 WGC appearances, Westwood has 11 top-10 finishes. Garcia, also in 61 WGC’s, has earned 20 top 10s. The 41-year-old recently finished T-9 at the Players Championship. Garcia will pass Tiger Woods as the leader in all-time matches played at the Match Play. Woods has 48, Garcia starts Wednesday at 46 and will play at least three times this week. Of note: Ian Poulter has played 45 matches.

SOURCE: golfweek/usatoday