We take a look at the chances of each of the 16 players competing in this week's Volvo World Match Play Championship at The London Club, Kent, England by Dan Butler
Volvo World Match Play Championship 2014 Groups
Arnold Palmer Group
World number 5 and European number 1 Stenson is the top seed this week. The affects of a non-stop 2013/2014 season were evident in his tired play at this year’s Ryder Cup but he arrives this week fresh from a 2 week break.
The 44-year-old will be hoping to go one better than last year when he lost out to McDowell at Thracian Cliffs Resort, Bulgaria, but he is up against a stellar European field.
With a Ryder Cup record of 0-2-1 (W-L-H) and a first round knockout in this year’s WGC Accenture Match Play, Molinari has his work cut out this week.
Replacing the injured Thomas Bjorn, the South African has only made one of the last 4 cuts this season.
Mark McCormack Group
Welshman Donaldson will be eager to capitalize on the match play momentum gained from securing the winning point at last month’s Ryder Cup.
The lone American is fresh from an impeccable Ryder Cup where he won three-and-a-half points out of four. Seems to react well to a boisterous audience so should enjoy the London crowds.
The mercurial Swede missed the cut at the Frys.com Open last week but his always reliable short game could see him sneak an unexpected win at the London Club this week.
Local favourite Casey will still be riding high from a win at last month’s KLM Open in Holland. The 2006 World Match Play Champion is always a formidable opponent in the match play format.
Assar Gabriel Group
The young Frenchman has already shown his aptitude for the match play format in last month’s Ryder Cup and February’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship – narrowly losing out to Jason Day on the fifth extra hole.
2014 Ryder Cup debutant did not live up to expectations at this year’s Ryder Cup with a record of 0-2-0 (W-L-H). Unlikely to be a contender this week.
The 2-time European Tour winner missed the cut last week but finished T6 at the Dunhill Links Championship the week before. Plays well in inclement weather.
The Spaniard won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship early in the year but has played inconsistently of late – only making 2 cuts in his last 6 starts.
Gustaf Larson Group
The defending champion loves match play golf and has a stellar record to prove it. McDowell is also arriving fresh from last month’s Ryder Cup where he boasted a 100 per cent record for 3 matches.
The Dutchman has run into some form of late – winning the Wales Open last month – and has expressed his enjoyment of playing under match play pressure in the past.
The 2014 Irish Open winner has a poor match play record. Bubba Watson knocked him out of this year’s 2014 WGC Match Play Championship in the first round 2&1.
The young Frenchman won last week’s rain-troubled Portugal Masters but has yet to compete in a singles match play event as a professional. He could fall victim to the more experienced field.