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Dell Match Play: Behind the March Madness-style PGA golf tourney coming to Austin

UT alum Scottie Scheffler will compete in the Dell Match Play tournament this Wednesday-Sunday. (Dell Match Play/Twitter)

Not feeling your March Madness brackets?

You're in luck—Austin is getting a bracket-style pro sports tournament of its own as the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play tournament hits the Austin Country Club Wednesday.


Running from Wednesday-Saturday, some of the world's best golfers will go head to head in Austin as the PGA players embark on an unorthodox, fun-loving PGA Tournament in the city.

Here's a look at the ins and outs of the tournament:

The background

The Dell Match Play tournament has been the only World Golf Championship in the world to employ a match style of play since its start in 1999.

Nestled near the blueish waters of Lake Austin at the Austin Country Club since 2016, the tournament begins with 16 sets of four golfers who compete with each other before advancing to the final rounds

The style of play has a unique place in the golf sphere: upsets against world champions like Tiger Woods (although he's won the tournament three times) became common in the dramatic, topsy-turvy tourney.

Here's how it works:

The top 64 golfers in the Official World Golf Ranking compete in 16 pods of four similar to March Madness pairings (top-seeded players compete against a lower seed, with two in the middle.) The tournament used to be single-elimination but has worked in a round-robin format for the past seven years.

Golfers will need to win more than the other three in their pod before advancing to the "Sweet 16." This is where the knockout rounds begin as 16 golfers narrow to quarterfinals, semifinals and finally a final round as the winner is decided.

And that top golfer wins big: last year, 32nd-seed Billy Horschel took the tournament with a surprise win and left with nearly $2 million. This year, the purse is set at 12 million, with the winner taking home over $2.1 million as the championship ends Sunday.

The bracket

Sitting at No. 1 in the world is Spanish pro golfer Jon Rahm, who will have to play against contenders including "match-play specialist" Patrick Reed in order to reach the finals.

But perhaps more interesting are the amount of golfers with Austin ties: Scottie Scheffler, a University of Texas alum who is the current leader of the FedExCup, is the defending runner-up of the tournament and sits at the fifth seed in Group 5. Scheffler, who graduated just four years ago, also famously toppled Rahm in the Ryder Cup Singles last year.

Fellow UT grad Jordan Spieth will also compete as the top seed (11) in Group 11, and will have tough competition against champs Keegan Bradley, Justin Rose and Adam Scott.

Other top contenders include defending champ Billy Horschel (12), Kevin Kisner, who won the tournament in 2019, past FedExCup champ Justin Thomas, and Bryson DeChambeau (9), who is returning to the PGA Tour for the first time since January.

Check out a more in-depth breakdown of the bracket here.

How to go

Golf lovers and fans of a golf party can purchase single-day tickets starting at $141 or buy for the whole week, with general grounds tickets priced at $568. Parking tickets for Lot 5 at Barton Creek Mall are priced at $50.

The first 500 military veterans are eligible for free tickets each day at the tournament, while up to 500 kids under 15 will be permitted into the premises each day.

Past attendees include Matthew McConaughey and more Austin celebs, and attendance averages at around 10,000 throughout the week. Purchase your tickets here.

Popular

With deposition and trial looming, Elon Musk has offered $44B for Twitter, again
Shutterstock

Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.

The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.

The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.

While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.

The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.

After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.

With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.

He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.

Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.

Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.

Austin rents nearly double in a year and are now in the top 5 nationwide
Dwellsy

While searching for a place to live, Austin renters will face monthly rates of nearly $3,000, a recent guide from rental marketplace Dwellsy shows.

The median rent in August this year was $2,930, a more than 86% increase since August 2021. That’s $820 more than the nationwide median asking rent in August and puts Austin just below the Bay Area, Boston and New York for large cities with the most expensive asking rent.

“Within this group, Austin, TX stands out for the highest increases in asking rent, which has nearly doubled since this time last year,” the study notes.

Outside of those large cities, however, others are seeing even higher rent spikes. Metro areas that ranked above Austin in one-year increases include those like Kansas City, MO with a 112% change in rent since last August and Tucson, AZ with a 124% change.

The data reflects large apartment communities, single-family homes and 2-6 unit buildings.