Golf, schedules and tournaments of the week
by ANDREA GUSSONI | VIEW 1508
In the twelfth week of the year, from 20 to 26 March, there will be many appointments to follow. Here's where the champions will be playing this week.
PGA Tour and DP World Tour – World Golf Championships – Dell Technologies Match Play
After the Florida Swing, the PGA Tour returns to the Austin Country Club, Texas, for an unmissable event on the golf calendar: the World Golf Championships - Dell Technologies Match Play.
From Wednesday 22 to Sunday 26 March, the best players will compete in a "duel" with the match-play formula. Austin Field, designed by Pete Dye in 1899, is one of the oldest in Texas. The players will be divided into 16 groups of 4 players each (the seeds are the top 16 in the World Ranking).
The champions within the single group will compete against each other in an 18-hole match-play with a ranking by points. 32 match-plays will be played each day, Wednesday through Friday, to determine a single winner for each group.
The best 16 will advance to the round of 16 which, like the quarterfinals, will be played on Saturday 25 March. The semifinal and final are scheduled for Sunday 26 March, where first and third place will be determined. On the court this week will be 8 of the top 9 players in the world: Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa, Xander Schauffele, Will Zalaris and Viktor Hovland.
Scheffler, fresh from winning The Players Championship just a couple of weeks ago, is back to defend the title he won a year ago. This year the American champion has already successfully defended his title at the WM Phoenix Open and seems determined to repeat the experience.
Rookies will include two-time Tour winner Tom Kim, Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard winner Kurt Kitayama and rising star Sahith Theegala. Scottie Scheffler was the only Texan to clinch the title in Austin, but there are plenty of other Lone Star State players currently in form, like Jordan Spieth and Will Zalaris.
American bookmakers recommend paying particular attention to: Scottie Scheffler, Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Kuchar for their experience and records in match-play competitions. Players will compete for a prize pool of $20,000,000 and 550 points in the FedEx Cup.
PGA Tour – Corales Puntacana Championship
Players on the PGA Tour will also be busy March 23-26 at the Puntacana Resort & Club in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. More than 120 players will be present at the Corales Golf Course, where they will compete in the sixth edition of the 2023 Corales Puntacana Championship.
This course is the venue for the first PGA Tour event held in the Dominican Republic. The course was inaugurated in 2010 and designed by Tom Fazio as a PAR 72 of 7,013 metres, with 6 holes along the natural cliffs of the Caribbean Sea.
It is one of the longest courses on the PGA Tour. It is characterized by the so-called Devil's Elbow: the final three holes of the Corales Golf Course. The defending champion Chad Ramey, who last year won with a score of -17, will be on the field to defend his title.
There has never been a back-to-back winner in this event, but Ramey will be looking to be first, especially given his recent run (a fabulous 64 in the first round at The Players and a past cut at the Valspar Championship ).
On the pitch will be 2021 winner Joel Dahmen and 2018 winner Brice Garnett. Joining them will be Dominic Bozzelli, who won the inaugural tournament in 2016 when he was a Korn Ferry Tour player. Bozzelli will compete this week thanks to a sponsor exemption.
Thomas Detry will be the highest fielded player in the FedEx Cup standings, while Angel Hidalgo, the Spanish champion currently 46th in the DP World Tour's Race to Dubai, will make his PGA Tour debut. Among the Major winners who will show up at the starting tee will be: Jason Dufner, Jimmy Walker and Geoff Ogilvy.
Players in attendance this week will compete for a prize pool of $3,800,000 and 300 points in the race to the FedEx Cup.