Jon Rahm will make his debut this Wednesday in the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play. The second World Championship in his career after taking third place two weeks ago in the Mexico Championship, and his first match play tournament as a professional.
There is definitely plenty of motivation on Jon’s part to participate. “As a good Spaniard would, I love match play” he assured the European Tour a few hours before starting. Jon loves this format and he’s already proven on many occasions throughout his amateur career that he’s really good at it.
The tournament is held on the Austin Country Club course in Texas and is played in a unique format. Three years ago, the traditional format was changed to something similar to the King’s Cup football style to implement a more similar system to the Champions League. In other words, there is a pre-tournament group phase and afterward it’s direct elimination in the round of 16 up to the finals. Only the first golfer in every group makes it to the round of 16.
Rahm was placed in the seventh group, with Sergio Garcia, Shane Lowry and Kevin Chappell. The fearsome four, with experience, quality game and good results in match play. The pressure is on to reach the round of 16, although nothing can intimidate Jon at this point in his career. In the end, the only one who’s won this year in the PGA Tour out of the four is Rahm himself at Torrey Pines.
Be that as it may, it’s impossible due to the logistics of match play to make any kind of real prediction. Jon will have to play his best game of golf to make it far in this tournament, but even then there is no guarantee.
His official debut will be this Wednesday starting at 9:11 pm, Spanish time, against Kevin Chappell. Thursday he’ll play against Lowry starting at 7:43 pm and Friday the group play will end against Sergio García starting at 5:20 pm. If he makes it to the round of 16, he would go up against the winner of group 10, with Rafa Cabrera Bello, Tyrrell Hatton, Charles Howell III and Jeung-hun Wang.