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WGC Match Play: Schedule, format, history & betting odds

This year marks the final WGC Match Play event and, ahead of the tournament, we have provided some handy information to keep you up to date with everything you need to know.

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When is the WGC Dell Match Play?

Unlike most traditional golf tournaments, the 2023 WGC Dell Match Play, which is the last time the event will be held, is held over five days instead of the normal four.

This year's edition will run from Wednesday 22nd March to Sunday 26th March.

Who plays in the WGC Match Play?

A field of 64 players do battle in the WGC Match Play, with the spots filled by the leading 64 from the Official World Golf Ranking system 10 days prior to the start of the event.

If anyone within that top 64 is unavailable to play, then their place will be deferred to the next highest player in the OWGR. World number 10 Justin Thomas and Justin Rose (32) have both decided not to play this year.

The following players were all ranked in the top 64 in the world at the cut-off point for qualifying, but they have been banned from competing due to their switch to LIV Golf:

Cameron Smith
Joaquín Niemann
Abraham Ancer
Thomas Pieters
Talor Gooch
Mito Pereira
Harold Varner III
Dustin Johnson

The 2023 event has eight of the top 10 players in the world rankings competing, including Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy.

What is the format of the WGC Match Play?

There are two phases of the WGC Match Play, beginning with the first stage where the 64 players are split into 16 groups of four. Each group has a player seeded from 1-16, 17-32, 33-48 and 49-64.

Over the first three days, each group plays a round-robin format with only the winner advancing into the knockout phase. One point is awarded for a win and half a point for a tie.

If two or more players are tied after the group games, there will be a sudden-death stroke play tie-breaker to determine a winner.

The remaining 16 players are then drawn in the last-16 stage before the last eight then contest the quarter-finals, with all of these matches taking place on Saturday.

On Sunday, the semi-finals, third-place play-off and final are all played. Each Match Play tie across the five days is played over 18 holes.

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What course is the WGC Match Play staged at?

The first two Match Play tournaments were played at La Costa, California in 1999 and 2000 before a brief switch to Metropolitan, Australia in 2001. From 2002-2006, the event was held back at La Costa.

In 2007 and 2008, The Gallery in Arizona was chosen as host, before Dove Mountain in the same state staged the next six editions (2009-2014).

Harding Park in California had the event for one year in 2015, before the switch to Austin Country Club the following year. It has remained at this course since then.

Who has won the WGC Match Play the most?

Unsurprisingly, Tiger Woods has won the most WGC Match Play titles, triumphing in 2003, 2004 and 2008 to remain the only player to have lifted the trophy three times. The former world number one is also the only individual to have successfully defended his title.

Woods also holds the record for most consecutive matches won, racking up 13 from 2003-2005, while his 8&7 victory over Stewart Cink in the Championship match of 2008 is the biggest winning margin.

The only other players to have won the title more than once are the Australian pair of Geoff Ogilvy, who tasted success in 2006 and 2009, and Jason Day (2014 and 2016).

Who is the reigning WGC Match Play champion?

World number one Scottie Scheffler is the reigning champion after beating Kevin Kisner 4&3 in the 2022 final, a year after he lost out to Billy Horschel in the 2021 finale.

The American is 8/1 to successfully defend his crown, while 2019 winner Kisner is 100/1 To Win Outright.

Who is favourite for the 2023 WGC Match Play?

Scheffler leads the way at 8/1 To Win Outright the Match Play, ahead of 11/1 Rahm, 12/1 McIlroy, 20/1 Patrick Cantlay and Collin Morikawa, who is 20/1 to claim the spoils.

Who is in Group 1 of the 2023 WGC Match Play?

Scottie Scheffler, Tom Kim, Alex Noren, Davis Riley

Who is in Group 2 of the 2023 WGC Match Play?

Jon Rahm, Billy Horschel, Keith Mitchell, Rickie Fowler

Who is in Group 3 of the 2023 WGC Match Play?

Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley, Denny McCarthy, Scott Stallings

Who is in Group 4 of the 2023 WGC Match Play?

Patrick Cantlay, Brian Harman, KH Lee, Nick Taylor

Who is in Group 5 of the 2023 WGC Match Play?

Max Homa, Hideki Matsuyama, Kevin Kisner, Justin Suh

Who is in Group 6 of the 2023 WGC Match Play?

Xander Schauffele, Tom Hoge, Aaron Wise, Cam Davis

Who is in Group 7 of the 2023 WGC Match Play?

Will Zalatoris, Ryan Fox, Harris English, Andrew Putnam

Who is in Group 8 of the 2023 WGC Match Play?

Viktor Hovland, Chris Kirk, Si Woo Kim, Matt Kuchar

Who is in Group 9 of the 2023 WGC Match Play?

Collin Morikawa, Jason Day, Adam Svensson, Victor Perez

Who is in Group 10 of the 2023 WGC Match Play?

Tony Finau, Kurt Kitayama, Adrian Meronk, Christiaan Bezuidenhout

Who is in Group 11 of the 2023 WGC Match Play?

Matt Fitzpatrick, Sahith Theegala, Min Woo Lee, J.J. Spaun

Who is in Group 12 of the 2023 WGC Match Play?

Jordan Spieth, Shane Lowry, Taylor Montgomery, Mackenzie Hughes

Who is in Group 13 of the 2023 WGC Match Play?

Sam Burns, Seamus Power, Adam Scott, Adam Hadwin

Who is in Group 14 of the 2023 WGC Match Play?

Tyrrell Hatton, Russell Henley, Lucas Herbert, Ben Griffin

Who is in Group 15 of the 2023 WGC Match Play?

Cameron Young, Sepp Straka, Corey Conners, Davis Thompson

Who is in Group 16 of the 2023 WGC Match Play?

Sungjae Im, Tommy Fleetwood, J.T. Poston, Maverick McNealy

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