On Monday, March 25 at 5 p.m. ET, professional golf will kick off its own version of a March bracket-style competition, with the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play Bracket Special airing live on GOLF Channel. The 64-man field will learn their match opponents for round-robin play (Wednesday-Friday) during this evening’s special, with the event being staged later this week at Austin Country Club (Wednesday-Sunday, March 27-31). The 16 four-man groups will be drawn live in order, beginning with No. 1 seeded Dustin Johnson’s group at the top of the show, and continuing with the other “Group A” players (seeded by world ranking) learning their match opponents, concluding with No. 16 seeded Patrick Reed:
Paul Casey (10); Tommy Fleetwood (11); Jason Day (12); Tiger Woods (13); Tony Finau (14); Bubba Watson (15) and Patrick Reed (16).
GOLF Channel’s Ryan Burr and Cara Banks will host the show, with Brandel Chamblee offering insight and analysis on the field as each group is unveiled. PGA TOUR vice president of rules and competition Mark Russell will oversee the bracket selection process, which once again will utilize numbered ping pong balls chosen at random by a blind draw to determine player groupings for round-robin matches.
The top seed for each of the 16 four-player groups will be filled by the top 16 players in the field by order of their position in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). Subsequently, the remaining three players in each group will be determined by a blind draw from three separate pools based on each player’s overall standing in the OWGR. Each four-player group will compete in round-robin matches amongst one another Wednesday through Friday. The player with the best record in each group advances to the Round of 16 for single-elimination match play. Below is an example of how the seeding process could play out this evening:
No. 1-ranked Dustin Johnson is the No. 1 seed in the tournament given his standing in the OWGR, and the top seed in Group 1.
The final three spots in his group would be randomly drawn from the pools below:
Pool B – Players seeded 17-32
Pool C – Players seeded 33-48
Pool D – Players seeded 49-64
Group 1 example
Player A – Dustin Johnson (Seeded No. 1)
Player B – Webb Simpson (Seeded No. 21)
Player C – Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Ranked No. 39)
Player D – Emiliano Grillo (Ranked No. 53)
As the show progresses, completed groups will be posted live to PGATOUR.com and fans will be able to follow analysis and commentary throughout the draw. A live stream of the show also will be available on Golf Channel Digital, the PGA TOUR mobile app and on PGATOUR.com.
Live Tournament Coverage: Wednesday-Sunday, March 27-31
NBC Sports Group will feature nearly 35 live hours of tournament coverage from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. GOLF Channel will carry live coverage of round robin matches Wednesday-Friday, March 27-29. On Saturday, March 30, GOLF Channel will provide coverage of the Round of 16, followed by the Quarterfinals matches airing on NBC. On Sunday, March 31, GOLF Channel will showcase the Semifinals matches, followed by the Championship and Consolation matches airing on NBC.
The tournament broadcast team will include Terry Gannon and Nick Faldo (GOLF Channel), along with Dan Hicks and Paul Azinger (NBC) positioned in the 18th tower. Gary Koch and Peter Jacobsen will report from tower positions, while Roger Maltbie, David Feherty (NBC), Notah Begay and Jim “Bones” Mackay will follow the matches on the ground as on-course reporters. Steve Sands and Todd Lewis will provide reports and conduct interviews with players in the field, and Jimmy Roberts will offer essays.
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Live Airtimes (all times Eastern):
Monday, March 25
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Bracket Special 5-6 p.m. GOLF Channel
Wednesday, March 27
Day One - Round Robin 2-8 p.m. GOLF Channel
Thursday, March 28
Day Two - Round Robin 2-8 p.m. GOLF Channel
Friday, March 29
Day Three - Round Robin 2-8 p.m. GOLF Channel
Saturday, March 30
Round of 16 10 a.m.-2 p.m. GOLF Channel
Quarterfinals 2-6 p.m. NBC
Sunday, March 31
Semifinals 10 a.m.-2 p.m. GOLF Channel
Championship and Consolation Matches 3-7 p.m. NBC
-NBC Sports Group-