• New group format gets seal of approval from the players
• No.18 Phil Mickelson the only player in top 50 not taking part
WGC-CADILLAC MATCH PLAY
Scottish pair Stephen Gallacher and Marc Warren have both been handed all-American groups at the newly formatted WGC-Cadillac Match Play, which begins tomorrow.
The groups were drawn yesterday in World Cup football-style fashion, with the 64 players split into four pots based on their world rankings and drawn at random ahead of the tournament at TPC Harding Park, San Francisco.
World No.42 Gallacher was in the third pot and was handed a tough draw as he faces off against 2013 champion Matt Kuchar, 2012 winner Hunter Mahan and Ben Martin in group 14.
Warren, meanwhile, who narrowly missed out on a place at the Masters two weeks ago, is up against J.B. Holmes, Brooks Koepka and Russell Henley in group 12.
From Wednesday to Friday, the players in each group will face off against one another, with the player with the best record over the three matches in each group advancing to the last 16 stage.
Masters champion Jordan Spieth has been drawn in group two with Lee Westwood, Matt Every and Mikko Ilonen and spoke about dealing with the added pressure of a matchplay tournament.
Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle ahead of the WGC Match Play, Spieth said: “I embrace being in the hunt, I embrace the pressure. I can’t speak to how anybody else feels, but I believe we play the game in order to live on the edge, to be in the hunt and see how our body and our swing and our putting stroke responds to the pressure.
"I love the game because it can give me that thrill and I can individually control that" - Jordan Spieth
“That’s the whole thrill of it. I love the game because it can give me that thrill and I can individually control that.”
Rory McIlroy has been handed a tough group alongside last year’s FedExCup winner Billy Horschel, Brandt Snedeker and 2013 US PGA champion Jason Dufner.
Of the world’s top 64 players who qualified for the event, only Phil Mickelson (personal reasons), Luke Donald (attending brother’s wedding) and Tim Clark (elbow injury) have withdrawn, with their places in the field taken by Miguel Angel Jimenez, Francesco Molinari and Ilonen.
Gallacher tees off at 11am tomorrow local time (7pm UK time) against Mahan, while Warren is off at 12.50pm (8.50pm UK time) against Holmes.
WGC-Cadillac Match Play :: Your thoughts
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