Day in good shape ahead of WGC-Cadillac defence

Adding a fourth PGA TOUR victory to his resume in New Orleans failed to come to fruition for Jason Day last week, however the Queenslander heads to San Francisco with a confident air ahead of the defence of his WGC-Cadillac Matchplay title.

Day triumphed in a thrilling battle with Frenchman Victor Dubuisson in the Arizona desert last year which was memorable for the handful of incredible recovery shots the Frenchman pulled off from impossible positions among the sandy waste and cactus plants.

Jason Day Jason Day (Credit: Anthony Powter)

There will be no need for such prickly heroics this year as the tournament shifts to the Bay Area and the leafier surrounds of the historic TPC Harding Park club.

A tie for 4th behind in-form Brit Justin Rose could be just the tonic Day needs after what for him would have been a disappointing showing at The Masters three weeks ago.

Rose’s win in New Orleans and Lee Westwood’s playoff victory at the Asian Tour’s Indonesian Masters resulted in a slight reshuffle of positions within the top 64 players on the Official World Rankings who will contest the Matchplay format this week.

Phil Mickelson has also withdrawn at the last minute, opening up a spot for Finland’s Mikko Ilonen to take the final place in the field.

Four other Australians – Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Matt Jones and John Senden – are in the field with Day (7) and Scott (9) in the Top 16 grouping, while Leishman (56) Jones (58) and Senden (60) form part of the bottom 16.

A new format this year will assign a top seed for each of 16 four-player groups, based on the top 16 players in order of their position in the Official World Golf Ranking.

The remaining three players in each group will be determined by a blind draw from each of three pools depending on their standing in the OWGR (17-32, 33-48 and 49-64).

Each group will play round-robin matches within their group with the player with the best record in each group advancing to the Round of 16 for single-elimination match play.

Top 16

  1. Rory McIlroy
  2. Jordan Spieth
  3. Henrik Stenson
  4. Bubba Watson
  5. Jim Furyk
  6. Justin Rose
  7. Jason Day
  8. Dustin Johnson
  9. Adam Scott
  10. Sergio Garcia
  11. Jimmy Walker
  12. JB Holmes
  13. Rickie Fowler
  14. Matt Kuchar
  15. Patrick Reed
  16. Hideki Matsuyama