This week is a week unlike any other on the PGA Tour.
No… it’s not the Masters. But fret not, that’s just two weeks away.
But it is a one-of-a-kind event on Tour – the WGC-Match Play Championship. Bubba Watson returns to Austin Country Club this week to defend the title he won over Kevin Kisner 7&6 one year ago.
Pretty much all the big names are in Austin this week for the tournament that begins on Wednesday.
Which players do the caddies like to perform well in Texas? With just 64 players in the field, we asked two caddies to submit their three favorites to win. To protect their identity, the caddies made their picks anonymously.
Here’s who they like at Austin Country Club.
- Tommy Fleetwood. “Tommy is a good pick because he’s just getting used to the greens book and he has proven in Ryder Cup matches to be a tough and scrappy player in this format. Fleetwood made it to the quarterfinals of this event in 2015. He’s also playing great golf of late, having finished T3 at Bay Hill and following it up with a T5 at TPC Sawgrass.”
- Tony Finau. “This is only Tony’s second start in the Match Play but think about the complete player he has become over the last few years. He’s a good pick this week, having shown us in Paris last fall at the Ryder Cup that he can get it done in match play. He was 2-1-0 that week as a Ryder Cup rookie and captain’s pick. I think that’s still fresh enough on his mind to move him through his group.”
- Tiger Woods. “Tiger is a longshot, but I think he’s worth looking at given his track record, don’t you? This is a tournament he’s won three times, but the last one came in 2008. If you make it to the final, it’s a long week. How will he hold up? We’ll have to see. But he’s having fun and that can be all the momentum he needs to move though his group.”
- Chez Reavie. “Chez is coming off a tough month and some disappointing starts, but in a format like this, there’s potential to bounce back in a big way. Win a match, gain some serious confidence and keep rolling with it. It won’t be easy for Chez, as his group features world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Though he didn’t advance last year in his Match Play debut, keep in mind that Chez did take down Jon Rahm in the round robin, who was red hot coming in. You never know what can happen in match play.”
- Xander Schauffele. “He’s had a quick rise to get into the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking. That doesn’t happen by accident. That happens because of exceptional play. Xander’s a great ball striker and fit to win this tournament. His length and short game should elevate him to do great things this week. He can get up and down from anywhere.”
- Matt Kuchar. “He’s probably the most steady, solid player on Tour this year. He will nag you to death with making no mistakes. He will win his pod and look to hoist the trophy… something he’s already done once before.”