The 2022 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play format is unique in golf because it's not only the rare match-play event in professional golf, but it's an individual match-play event with a round-robin group component designed to help preserve the best players in the tournament from being eliminated in a potential fluke loss in the first three days of the event.
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play format
The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play format changed in 2016, going from a 64-player, single-elimination, bracket-style tournament to a 64-player event beginning with 16 groups of round-robin play leading to 16 group winners who advance into a single-elimination, bracket-style tournament to determine a winner.
For the first three days of the tournament, Wednesday through Friday, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is concerned with matches inside 16 groups, each anchored by one of the top 16 highest-seeded players in the event based on this week's Official World Golf Ranking. From there, players are selected at random from three subsequent groups of the next 16 highest-ranked players to fill out groups. In these 16 groups of four, round-robin play continues for the first three days, with each player getting an 18-hole match against each player in their group.
In these 18-hole matches, three outcomes are possible: win, loss or 18-hole tie. If a player wins a match, they get a point. If they lose the match, they don't get a point. If they tie or halve the match, they and their opponent each get a half-point. In the final day of round-robin play on Friday, matches which determine the group winner. If players are tied for the lead in a group after round robin play, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play tiebreaker is a sudden-death playoff begins on the first hole as soon as possible.
The winners of each group then advance into a single-elimination, bracket-style competition on Saturday with 18-hole matches:
- Group 1 winner vs. Group 16 winner
- Group 8 winner vs. Group 9 winner
- Group 4 winner vs. Group 13 winner
- Group 5 winner vs. Group 12 winner
- Group 6 winner vs. Group 11 winner
- Group 3 winner vs. Group 14 winner
- Group 7 winner vs. Group 10 winner
- Group 2 winner vs. Group 15 winner
There must be a winner in each of these matches. From there, the bracket takes over, determining next matchups until a champion is crowned on Sunday afternoon in an 18-hole finish, and a third- and fourth-place finisher is decided by a consolation match.
All told, a winner has to compete in seven matches.
2022 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play groups
- Group 1: Jon Rahm (1), Patrick Reed (23), Cameron Young (40), Sebastian Munoz (58)
- Group 2: Collin Morikawa (2), Jason Kokrak (22), Sergio Garcia (43), Robert MacIntyre (61)
- Group 3: Viktor Hovland (3), Will Zalatoris (24), Cameron Tringale (45), Sepp Straka (63)
- Group 4: Patrick Cantlay (4), Sungjae Im (21), Seamus Power (42), Keith Mitchell (62)
- Group 5: Scottie Scheffler (5), Matt Fitzpatrick (20), Tommy Fleetwood (41), Ian Poulter (59)
- Group 6: Justin Thomas (6), Kevin Kisner (29), Marc Leishman (37), Luke List (53)
- Group 7: Xander Schauffele (7), Tony Finau (18), Lucas Herbert (39), Takumi Kanaya (56)
- Group 8: Dustin Johnson (8), Max Homa (30), Matthew Wolff (38), Mackenzie Hughes (51)
- Group 9: Bryson DeChambeau (9), Talor Gooch (27), Lee Westwood (47), Richard Bland (54)
- Group 10: Louis Oosthuizen (10), Paul Casey (19), Corey Conners (36), Alex Noren (50)
- Group 11: Jordan Spieth (11), Adam Scott (32), Justin Rose (46), Keegan Bradley (60)
- Group 12: Billy Horschel (12), Thomas Pieters (26), Tom Hoge (33), Min Woo Lee (49)
- Group 13: Tyrrell Hatton (13), Daniel Berger (17), Si Woo Kim (48), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (52)
- Group 14: Joaquin Niemann (14), Kevin Na (25), Russell Henley (34), Maverick McNealy (64)
- Group 15: Abraham Ancer (15), Webb Simpson (31), Brian Harman (44), Bubba Watson (57)
- Group 16: Brooks Koepka (16), Shane Lowry (28), Harold Varner III (35), Erik van Rooyen (55)