Sam Burns withdrew from the Dell Match Play on Monday, one day after outlasting Davis Riley in a playoff to become a back-to-back winner at the Valspar Championship.
The 64-man field at Austin Country Club will be missing four golfers from the top 12 in the world ranking. Cameron Smith (6) withdrew after winning the Players Championship, Hideki Matsuyama (12) is recovering from an upper back injury and Rory McIlroy (8) previously said he plans to play the Valero Texas Open as his final event before the Masters.
Burns moved to No. 10 in the world with his victory in Florida. He was replaced in the field in Texas by Maverick McNealy. The field is determined by the world ranking from a week ago. Three players moved into the top 64 from their performances last week — Shaun Norris and Dean Burmester in South Africa, Stewart Cink at Innisbrook — but are not eligible.
The 16 groups were finalized Monday, each filled randomly with one player from the top 16 seeds, one from Nos. 17 to 32, one from Nos. 33 to 48 and one from Nos. 49 to 64. The winner of each group after round-robin play advances to the knockout stage.
Jon Rahm is the No. 1 seed and will start Wednesday by playing Sebastian Munoz, the second straight year they’re squaring off on the first day.
Bryson DeChambeau is playing for the first time since he withdrew from the Saudi International with injuries.
This is the final week for players to earn a spot in the Masters through the top 50 in the world ranking. Among those at Match Play who are on the bubble are Seamus Power (48), Cameron Tringale (51) and Alex Noren (56).
Billy Horschel is the defending champion after beating Scottie Scheffler last year. Horschel was the No. 32 seed last year. This time he is seeded 12th. Scheffler is the No. 5 seed and has three Ryder Cup players from England in his group: Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood and Ian Poulter.