Brendan Steele will tee it up Wednesday this week in the World Golf Championships Dell Technologies Match Play tournament at the Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas.
The native Idyllwilder qualified by being ranked 39th last week in the Official World Golf Ranking. The top 64 players are eligible to play. Brendan’s good friend, Keegan Bradley, qualified despite being ranked 68th because several qualified players declined their invitations.
In match play, two players compete one-on-one, hole-by-hole, over as many as 18 holes with the player winning a hole scoring 1. Holes on which they both have the same score are “halved,” with each player scoring a half. Most matches are therefore concluded before the 18th hole. For example, if, after 15 holes of play, one player has won six holes and the other player has won only two, the score would be 9 ½ to 5 ½, and the player behind could not possibly catch up with only three holes left to play, so the match is over at that point. The leading player wins with a score of “4 and 3,” meaning he is four holes up with only three holes left to play.
At the outset of the WGC Match Play,, 64 players are divided into 16 groups of four. The four players in each group compete against each other in round-robin matches Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
The 16 survivors will be seeded into brackets for Saturday-morning play, and the eight winners will play that afternoon. The final four will play in two semi-final matches on Sunday morning, with the two survivors playing for the championship Sunday afternoon.
This week, Brendan goes into the tournament ranked seventh on the FedExCup points list and 40th on the Official World Golf Ranking.
In the round-robin segment, Brendan tees off against Charley Hoffman (U.S.; 26th in OWGR) Wednesday at 8:25 a.m., against Tyrrell Hatton (England; 16th in OWGR) Thursday at 12:38 p.m., and against Alexander Levy (France; 60th in OWGR) Friday at 10:37 a.m. — all times PST. Brendan must win at least two of these matches — perhaps all three — in order to advance to the brackets on Saturday.