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Saturday, April 25, 2015

WGC-Cadillac Match Play - Preview

The WGC-Cadillac Match Play offers quite the wild card right in the heart of the PGA TOUR schedule, and here is a preview to get you started.

TPC Harding Park is the venue, taking over for the first time in the Match Play. Recent tournaments contested at Harding Park included the 2009 Presidents Cup, won by the Americans, and the 2005 WGC-American Express Championship.

It's hard to glean too much from those tournaments. What we do know is that Tiger Woods went a perfect 5-0-0 in the Presidents Cup and beat John Daly in a playoff to win the 2005 WGC-American Express Championship. Joining Woods and Daly in the top five back in 2005 were Collin Montgomerie,  Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia 

TPC Harding Park is a 7,127 yard par-71 layout featuring three par 5s, including the first and the 18th holes, to go with four par 3s and 11 par 4s. For those wanting to dig into scoring stats, par 4 scoring average could be a big factor since most matches will only include two par 5s. 

The format of this tournament is also a new wrinkle. There will be 16 pods of four players who will compete in a traditional round-robin style. The winner of each pod will advance to the final 16 and play in a bracket format. 

That format is good for some of the stronger players, as they aren't automatically eliminated due to one loss. It's tricky for gamers and punters.

Depending on the format of game(s) that you intend to play this week, strategies will vary. I tend to look at weeks like this as a survival week. I'm OK with not making a big move up a leaderboard in a season-long format, but hope to not give up ground either.

As I will highlight in my power ranking, current form and overall history in match-play formats will trump most everything else.

I will return with a power ranking soon. Until then, happy research and best of luck surviving what could prove to be a crapshoot! 


  1. Hi Ryan, I actually played Harding Park last summer on a visit to SF: IIRC the first is a par 4 and the 18th plays as a Par 4 for the Pros too...will they change the course that much for the tournament? I could be totally wrong of course...

    1. Interesting. I'm pulling my scorecard data of the PGA TOUR Media Guide for the tournament. Not sure why the discrepancy, but the Media Guide is usually accurate. I did double check to make sure it's 2015, and it is. Perhaps they flipped the nines from when you played it?

    2. Yes that would explain it - funny they would not use the iconic 18 with the drive over the lake and the huge tress where Tiger and Daly played-off :)

  2. So the holes are scrambled, just found confirmation on twitter:
    TPC Harding Park will be rerouted for the WGC this week. Front 9: 10, 11, 12, 13, 4, 5, 6, 2, 3. Back 9: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 1, 7, 8, 9