Burns takes the win at Austin Country Club’s final Dell Match play


Photo by Erich Schlegel – USA Today Sports

Every year Westlake’s own Austin Country Club hosts the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, one of the PGA’s premier stops on the tour. The world’s most elite golf professionals meet and battle it out for a career win and a hefty reward; the top winner receives 3.5 million dollars. 

Unfortunately this is likely the last year this tournament will be hosted at ACC, as members and the board of the club have voiced concerns about the tournament; for almost two months the club is closed to set up for the tournament and members still pay their membership fees. 

While this might have been the last year, the tournament was still a success with plentiful attendance and great golf. This year saw some of the greatest golf played as tournament-goers saw historic shots and amazing performances by tour veterans and PGA rookies along with plenty of twists and turns.

The tournament began with some surprise eliminations, as world number one John Rahm fell to young golfer Cameron Young along with fan favorites like Matthew Fitzpatrick and Sahith Theegala. As the weekend played on, unexpected victors like former world number one Jason Day and senior player Matt Kuchar rose in the leaderboards. By the end of the tournament Matt Kuchar made history by matching Tiger Woods’ win record at Dell. Many fans had high hopes for Max Homa but he fell to Canada native Matt Hughes in an upset defeat. 

While the weekend was full of surprise wins and losses many of the strongest players were as expected, returning champion Scottie Sheffler maintained top five in the tournament along with Rory Mcllroy who hit a historic 375 yard drive to a 3 feet distance on the famed 18th hole. Xander Shauffle played mighty throughout the tournament but unfortunately fell short before sunday along with Kurt Kitayama.

As the weekend progressed and roster grew shorter four champions moved on to play on sunday: Rory Mcllroy, Scottie Sheffler, Cameron Young and Sam Burns; the latter two being relatively young golfers. Cameron Young was the expected victor the first four days from his explosive performance but Sam Burns played his heart out on Sunday and the current world number 10 was crowned victor. He secured the win with his eight birdies throughout his last stretch of ten holes, he had 48 birdies for the week, and this launched him far ahead of his final opponent Cameron Young. Burns took advantage of Young, depleting momentum, and his endurance is what pushed him ahead of the pack. Mcllroy and Sheffler battled it out for third place, Mcllroy won along with hitting a historic drive proving he is still a challenging player this late in his career.

The Dell Match play provided entertainment to Austinites and golf for PGA tour players for another year, and while this year might be its last, it went extremely well. We can only hope that they keep the match play in Austin, perhaps at Barton Creek Country Club, but it is a very real possibility we won’t see a PGA tournament in Austin for the foreseeable future.