The second World Golf Championships event of 2019 takes place in Austin, Texas this week. Here are five things to know ahead the match play action.
DJ and WGCs
Dustin Johnson is looking to repeat his 2017 achievement when he won back-to-back WGCs: WGC-Mexico Championship and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
The American’s victories were separated by three weeks and, following his win in Mexico City just five weeks ago, he is in pole position to replicate the accomplishment.
Should Johnson succeed in Austin, it will be the seventh time a player has won consecutive WGCs; Johnson (2017 WGC-Mexico Championship and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play) and Tiger Woods (2013 WGC-Cadillac Championship and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, 2007 WGC-CA Championship and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, 2006 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and WGC-American Express Championship, 2005 WGC-Firestone Invitational and WGC-American Express Championship, 1999 WGC-NEC Invitational and WGC-American Express Championship).
Match play madness
Bubba Watson set a new record when he clinched the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play 12 months ago. Since the event moved to an 18-hole championship match in 2011, the American set the largest winning margin in the title match beating Kevin Kisner 7&6, topping the previous record of 5&4 when Jason Day defeated Louis Oosthuizen in 2016.
En route to making the final last year, Kisner faced Alex Noren in a sensational semi-final battle where the pair made nine birdies between them on the front nine, before the American clinched victory on the 19th hole. Noren holed five birdies in a row from the third to seventh hole, while Kisner followed suit from the third to sixth hole.
The Austin Country Club played host to the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play for the first time in 2016. This was the first time a European Tour event had been played in the American state of Texas.
Austin Country Club was the sixth different venue to stage the match play contest. Former venues of the Match Play are: La Costa Resort & Spa (1999-2000, 2002-2006), Metropolitan Golf Club (2001), The Galley at Dove Mountain (2007-2008, 2013-2014), Ritz-Carlton Golf Club (2009-2012), TPC Harding Park (2015) and Austin Country Club (2016-17).
Having won his first regular European Tour event in Saudi Arabia and claimed his sixth WGC last month, Johnson will be looking to keep his hot streak going with another strong performance at Austin Country Club.
Following his victory at the Players Championship focus will be on Rory McIlroy to see if he can add a third WGC to his collection. The Northern Irishman claimed his debut Championship at the 2014 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational before coming out on top at the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play.
Round robin remains in place
The round robin match play format will make its fifth appearance at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Previously, the championship was a single elimination event, however, the change which came into effect in 2015 has provided further excitement to the event, as an opening round loss does not mean the end of WGC glory.
The 64-man field is broken up into 16 groups of four, with players facing off over the first three days. The winner of each group will advance to the elimination stage over the weekend.