AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Dustin Johnson has a trio of major champions in his way at the Dell Technologies Match Play.
Johnson is the No. 1 seed for the first time in Match Play, which starts Wednesday at Austin Country Club. The three players assigned to his round-robin group are PGA champion Jimmy Walker, two-time major champion Martin Kaymer and former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson.
Groups were determined by pulling one name from each of four 16-man segments based on the world ranking.
Defending champion Jason Day, the No. 3 seed, has Bay Hill winner Marc Leishman in his group. They were the only two Australians in the 64-man field. Rounding out that group is Lee Westwood and Pat Perez.
Rory McIlroy, the No. 2 seed who won two years ago at Harding Park, has Emiliano Grillo, 2015 runner-up Gary Woodland and Soren Kjeldsen. Hideki Matsuyama is the No. 4 seed and has last year’s runner-up Louis Oosthuizen, Ross Fisher and Jim Furyk.
Fisher might be able to wrap up a spot in the Masters if the Englishman can advance out of his group.
“I’m happy with that draw,” McIlroy said. “I feel like I’m playing well enough. I feel like I can advance from that group and get myself into the weekend.”
After round-robin play for three days, 16 players advance to single-elimination, two matches on Saturday and Sunday.
The All-American group starts with Patrick Reed and includes Brooks Koepka, Kevin Kisner and Jason Dufner.
Jordan Spieth at least won’t have to worry about playing a close friend like he did a year ago against Justin Thomas. Instead, he has two Japanese players — Yuta Ikeda and Hideto Tanihara, and Ryder Cup teammate Ryan Moore.
“U.S. Amateur champion and match-play wizard — lovely,” Spieth said about Moore, whom he described as “top five of most difficult guys to play.”
Moore won the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Public Links Amateur in 2004. He was the final captain’s pick for the Ryder…