2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship fantasy golf picks, betting tips
Fantasy Golf & Golf Betting PGA Tour

2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship fantasy golf picks, betting tips

The 2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship is one of the more unique weeks of the year for fantasy golf leagues and daily fantasy golf contests. The format change, which pits players in 16 groups of four in a round-robin format before funneling into a 16-player tournament, makes ranking players outright impossible. Two great players could wind up in the same group, meaning only one can survive.

So, we're taking a different approach this week with our fantasy golf picks and DraftKings lineup recommendations. We're going to look at each group and try to pick a winner, then try to fill out a bracket (which you can download here) to get us to an ultimate champion.

TPC Harding Park is a unique track in a few different ways. One, it's new to most of the field as a tournament course, and it's a one-off, so not many players will know it intimately. Two, the course will be a composite routing to make for a more interesting match-play course.

Last week, we didn't post our rankings because of some travel obligations, but we would've had Justin Rose. You should've had him.

Let's figure out a winner!

Group 1: Rory McIlroy (1), Billy Horschel (18), Brandt Snedeker (35), Jason Dufner (53)

It's hard to look past Rory McIlroy in this group, particularly with how he thrashed Rickie Fowler at last year's Ryder Cup. However, Billy Horschel is a stout match-play competitor. Brandt Snedeker is a great putter. Dufner is an annoying guy in match play because of how steady he is.

Winner: Rory McIlroy

Group 2: Jordan Spieth (2), Lee Westwood (26), Matt Every (40), Mikko Ilonen (62)

Jordan Spieth gets our nod here, but it's worth considering that Mikko Ilonen won the European Tour's pool-based match-play championship last year. Westwood is a Ryder Cup Hall of Famer.

Winner: Jordan Spieth

Group 3: Henrik Stenson (3), Bill Haas (23), Brendon Todd (42), John Senden (60)

The chalk continues here. Henrik Stenson loves this event and has won it back in 2007. He's playing great golf overall, and he's drawn a group that isn't very stout in this format.

Winner: Henrik Stenson

Group 4: Bubba Watson (4), Louis Oosthuizen (29), Keegan Bradley (33), Miguel Angel Jimenez (63)

Common sense would tell you that Bubba Watson should be able to intimidate his opponents, but Oosthuizen and Bradley have significant length. Oosthuizen has found his game again, and the South African's complete game is better than the other players in this group.

Winner: Louis Oosthuizen

Group 5: Jim Furyk (5), Martin Kaymer (17), Thongchai Jaidee (44), George Coetzee (59)

This seems like the group for Jim Furyk to pick off fairly easily. He won at Harbour Town to end a four-plus-year skid without a victory. Kaymer has struggled this year, while Jaidee and Coetzee are relatively hangers-on.

Winner: Jim Furyk

Group 6: Justin Rose (6), Ryan Palmer (22), Anirban Lahiri (34), Marc Leishman (56)

Justin Rose was T-2 at the Masters and won in NOLA on courses that reward ballstrikers, which Harding Park should be. The stage is too big for Lahiri, but Ryan Palmer could surprise here. However, I wouldn't go against Rose. Leishman, who has returned after his wife's health scare, is a wild card.

Winner: Justin Rose

Group 7: Jason Day (7), Zach Johnson (24), Branden Grace (38), Charley Hoffman (49)

Jason Day should win this group. He's defending champion, but on a different track. He's in the middle of one of those runs about a handful of guys have enjoyed in the event. However, Grace's length could be a match-maker. Johnson is annoying with his wedge play.

Winner: Jason Day

Group 8: Dustin Johnson (8), Victor Dubuisson (21), Charl Schwartzel (37), Matt Jones (58)

Johnson is playing the best golf of his career, so he should be the class of the group. However, he has a penchant for getting beat early in the old format. Dubuisson took Jason Day 23 holes before finishing second last year, and his aggressive style works in match play.

Winner: Dustin Johnson

Group 9: Adam Scott (9), Chris Kirk (25), Paul Casey (36), Francesco Molinari (64)

If you're looking for a sneaky pick, look no further than Paul Casey. He can be a real prick in match play, and that makes him an annoying match. So, too, does Casey's form. He has reached the finals twice. No one else in the group is playing all that well.

Winner: Paul Casey

Group 10: Sergio Garcia (10), Jamie Donaldson (30), Bernd Wiesberger (39), Tommy Fleetwood (54)

Donaldson's length should make him a tough match, but Garcia is the ultimate match player in this group. He understands the psychology of the format, and he's playing pretty well overall. However, he can lose the putter at pretty much any moment. Wiesberger and Fleetwood may well be deer in headlights.

Winner: Sergio Garcia

Group 11: Jimmy Walker (11), Ian Poulter (27), Webb Simpson (46), Gary Woodland (50)

The inclination here is to pick Ian Poulter, and it seems like the right one. He won here in 2010, is playing pretty well overall. However, Walker's a bulldog and Simpson and Woodland are not pushovers.

Winner: Ian Poulter

Group 12: J.B. Holmes (12), Brooks Koepka (19), Russell Henley (45), Marc Warren (51)

While Holmes vs. Koepka will be the sexy match of the group, Russell Henley is the best putter. Henley's long enough that he won't be worried about either Holmes or Koepka.

Winner: Russell Henley

Group 13: Rickie Fowler (13), Graeme McDowell (32), Shane Lowry (47), Harris English (55)

Group 13 is the most interesting. The talent is all B+ in match play and overall, which should mean a lot of good matches. Fowler knows how to keep it tight in match play, which may save him in pool play. McDowell is a great match play artist. Lowry is playing the best golf of his life. English is solid, but lacks an extra gear.

Winner: Shane Lowry

Group 14: Matt Kuchar (14), Hunter Mahan (31), Stephen Gallacher (41), Ben Martin (61)

This group comes down to Kuchar, who is as steady as they come, and Mahan, who has found he shines in match play and in this tournament. Mahan, who finished T-9 at the Masters, is my pick, but Kuchar is a perfectly acceptable pick. Total coin flip.

Winner: Hunter Mahan

Group 15: Patrick Reed (15), Ryan Moore (28), Danny Willett (48), Andy Sullivan (57)

The legend of Patrick Reed's match-play prowess either grows or is destroyed this week. He basically didn't lose in college match play, and he really knows how to dig into his opponents. However, Ryan Moore won't fall for that crap. It's not hard to imagine Moore taking joy in putting Reed away for the week.

Winner: Ryan Moore

Group 16: Hideki Matsuyama (16), Kevin Na (20), Joost Luiten (43), Alexander Levy (52)

Hideki Matsuyama's consistency, length and overall skill set should make him the easy pick here. However, Kevin Na's ability to get up-and-down from most anywhere could make him an annoying slow-roller in match play.

Winner: Hideki Matsuyama


With our 16 group winners in tow, let's plug in to the knockout rounds and see what happens.

Rory McIlroy (Group 1) vs. Hideki Matsuyama (Group 16) -- Matsuyama will play great for all 18 holes. McIlroy doesn't typically do that.

Winner: Hideki Matsuyama

Dustin Johnson (Group 8) vs. Paul Casey (Group 9) -- Johnson is playing great, but Casey gets match play. If he keep his form, Casey should win.

Winner: Paul Casey

Louis Oosthuizen (Group 4) vs. Shane Lowry (Group 14) -- Louis Oosthuizen is just too sweet, although Lowry seems to have a stroke for match play.

Winner: Louis Oosthuizen

Jim Furyk (Group 5) vs. Russell Henley (Group 12) -- Call me out of whack, but I like the grinder here.

Winner: Jim Furyk

Henrik Stenson (Group 3) vs. Hunter Mahan (Group 14) -- Wow, what a great contest given these guys' histories in the tournament. Let's go with Stenson, who is in slightly better form.

Winner: Henrik Stenson

Justin Rose (Group 6) vs. Ian Poulter (Group 11) -- The road stops here for Rose. Poulter is just too good in the format.

Winner: Ian Poulter

Jason Day (Group 7) vs. Sergio Garcia (Group 10) -- Oh, boy. Tough one, but Day is in better form overall and his putter isn't as likely to let him down in a big spot.

Winner: Jason Day

Jordan Spieth (Group 2) vs. Ryan Moore (Group 15) -- This should be a lot of fun, with two very different psychological styles competing. Spieth wins, but this one could go extras.

Winner: Jordan Spieth


Now, to the quarterfinals.

Hideki Matsuyama vs. Paul Casey -- Matsuyama is a leap of faith here, but this is his time.

Winner: Hideki Matsuyama

Louis Ooshuizen vs. Jim Furyk -- Furyk is unleashed now that he knows he can close again.

Winner: Jim Furyk

Henrik Stenson vs. Ian Poulter -- This is where Poulter's ride ends.

Winner: Henrik Stenson

Jason Day vs. Jordan Spieth -- Spieth is just too consistent.

Winner: Jordan Spieth


And to the semifinals.

Hideki Matsuyama vs. Jim Furyk -- Gotta assume Matsuyama will try to set the tempo. If he does, he wins.

Winner: Hideki Matsuyama

Henrik Stenson vs. Jordan Spieth -- Masters champion.

Winner: Jordan Spieth


For all the marbles...

Hideki Matsuyama vs. Jordan Spieth -- You're going to tell me that Spieth gets this far without winning?

2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play champion: Jordan Spieth


2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship round-robin groups

2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship format

2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship printable brackets

2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship betting odds

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