The WGC - Dell Technologies Match Play: Analysing America’s record-breaking Ryder Cup stars

A look at the United States team who blew Europe away at Whistling Straits and how they’re performing going into this week’s match play showdown in Texas.

For so long it seemed Europe had the 'X factor in Ryder Cups, a togetherness that made them more than the sum of their pants and couldn't be measured by simple stats and world rankings.

But then came Whistling Straits 2021: USA 19-9 Europe.

That record-breaking win for Steve Stricker's men was less than six months ago so memories of Wisconsin will still be fresh as those American players get their first taste of match play since that annihilation in this week's WGC event in Texas.

As the WGC - Dell Technologies Match Play approaches, we look at Stricker's winning squad to see who has the best chance of victory at Austin Country Club this week.

For each player, we'll list their performance in the last Ryder Cup, their record in this event since it moved to Austin in 2016, their current form, their recent record in Texas and their Strokes Gained: Putting numbers, always a key component for success in this format.

Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas

Record at 2021 Ryder Cup: 2.5pts from 4 matches

Match Play record at Austin: 42-24-4-39-61

Current form: 3-33-6-8-20

Last 5 starts in Texas: 40-42-10-24-4

SG: Putting rank: 100th

Thomas has made it out of the group phase just once although he did go all the way to the semi-finals on that occasion (2018). His current form is impressive despite the lack of a win although he's a long way down the putting stats this season. He beat Tyrrell Hatton 4&3 in the 2021 Ryder Cup singles and was also top US points scorer in Paris in 2018.

Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa

Record at 2021 Ryder Cup: 3.5pts from 4 matches

Match Play record at Austin: 56

Current form: 68-MC-2-18-62

Last 5 starts in Texas: 14-56-2

SG: Putting rank: 32nd

Morikawa's putting stats are significantly up this year but he's rather gone off the boil in recent starts. He showed his liking for this format when scoring three wins and a half on his Ryder Cup debut, the tie coming in his singles against Viktor Hovland.

Scottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler

Record at 2021 Ryder Cup: 2.5pts from 3 matches

Match Play record at Austin: 2

Current form: 55-1-7-1-20

Last 5 starts in Texas: 2-MC-47-54-2

SG: Putting rank: 15th

Scheffler ticks lots of boxes this week. He was runner-up on debut here last year, went unbeaten in the 2021 Ryder Cup, blasting Jon Rahm 4&3 in the singles, has two wins in his last four starts on the PGA Tour and is a local Texan who plays well in his home State. Putting? Yes, he's been excellent on the greens this year, ranking 15th.

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson

Record at 2021 Ryder Cup: 5pts from 5 matches

Match Play record at Austin: 28-40-59-1-5

Current form: 39-9-MC-8-25

Last 5 starts in Texas: 28-2-MC-40-59

SG: Putting rank: 86th

DJ was the star of the show in the last Ryder Cup, winning all five matches after completing his clean sweep with a 1up victory over Paul Casey in the singles. He's also a past winner at Austin Country Club having won this event in 2017. His form is a little underwhelming this year although two top 10s in his last four starts is hardly a sign of struggle.

Patrick Cantlay

Patrick Cantlay

Record at 2021 Ryder Cup: 3.5pts from 4 matches

Match Play record at Austin: 18-24-17

Current form: MC-33-2-4-9

Last 5 starts in Texas: 18-24-MC-17-39

SG: Putting rank: 20th

Another standout from the last Ryder Cup after three wins and a half in four starts. He won his singles 4&2 over Shane Lowry. Cantlay was hot at the end of last year and the start of this but he's cooled a little of late. He's putting well but hasn't got to the knockout stages yet in three attempts at Austin CC although he did finish runner-up in the group each time.

Xander Schauffele

Xander Schauffele

Record at 2021 Ryder Cup: 3pts from 4 matches

Match Play record at Austin: 18-24-17

Current form: 12-MC-13-3-18

Last 5 starts in Texas: 18-24-17

SG: Putting rank: 70th

Schauffele had three wins out of four in the last Ryder Cup although he lost his singles 3&2 to Rory McIlroy in the first match out. He's in solid form this year and has been a tad unlucky in this event, finishing runner-up in the group on all three occasions. He lost to eventual runner-up Scheffler at the second extra hole last year when the group was decided by a playoff.

Daniel Berger

Daniel Berger

Record at 2021 Ryder Cup: 2pts from 3 matches

Match Play record at Austin: 18-59-39-61

Current form: 13-4-MC-20-5

Last 5 starts in Texas: 20-3-18-1-MC

SG: Putting rank: 44th

Berger had two wins out of three in the 2021 Ryder Cup, beating Matt Fitzpatrick 1up in Sunday's singles. He's been in impressive form this season, has a past win in Texas and putts well. The negative is his lack of form in this event although he finished joint-top of his group last year before losing a playoff against Erik van Rooyen.

Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka

Record at 2021 Ryder Cup: 2pts from 4 matches

Match Play record at Austin: 56-9-5

Current form: 12-MC-16-MC-3

Last 5 starts in Texas: MC-MC-5-32-4

SG: Putting rank: 83rd

Koepka has missed this event a couple of times since it moved to Texas but in his three starts, he's made it out of the group stage twice. He wasn't the USA's best performer in the Ryder Cup but did win his singles 2&1 against Bernd Wiesberger. There are flashes of current form starting to appear too.

Bryson DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau

Record at 2021 Ryder Cup: 2.5pts from 3 matches

Match Play record at Austin: 42-40

Current form: WD-MC-25

Last 5 starts in Texas: 55-42-3-MC-40

SG: Putting rank: N/A

DeChambeau, despite all the talk of him not fitting in, had a good Ryder Cup and beat Sergio Garcia 3&2 in the singles. The big concern is his current form or rather lack of it. He's hardly played this year so it seems a stretch to think he can suddenly turn it on at a venue that hasn't been a good one for him.

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth

Record at 2021 Ryder Cup: 1.5pts from 4 matches

Match Play record at Austin: 9-24-17-30-9

Current form: MC-26-60-2-MC

Last 5 starts in Texas: 2-9-1-9-MC

SG: Putting rank: 142nd

Spieth, despite a rejuvenated 2021, was one of the few American players to have a losing record at Whistling Straits although he did tie his singles against Tommy Fleetwood. He's strong on home Texas soil although he's never gone past the last 16 at Austin Country Club. Surprisingly, he's also way down the putting stats this year.

Tony Finau

Tony Finau

Record at 2021 Ryder Cup: 1pt from 3 matches

Match Play record at Austin: 28-40-17

Current form: MC-33-MC-28-MC

Last 5 starts in Texas: MC-20-MC-28-24

SG: Putting rank: 203rd

Finau has been an elite player over the last few years but there's little to recommend him for glory this week. He didn't have a great Ryder Cup, has never made the knockout stages here, is out of form and, worst of all, his putter has gone stone cold.

Harris English

Not all the world's top 64 are playing this week and English is one of those who won't be appearing in Texas.

Conclusion

Overall, the triumphant Americans are in mixed form this year.

Scheffler would appear to have the most cast-iron credentials but DJ, Cantlay, Schauffele, Koepka and Berger all have plenty going for them too.

Americans have won the last four editions of this event and there must be every chance one of the home contingent lifts the trophy again.

READ MORE: The WGC - Dell Technologies Match Play: An event that always underwhelms someone, even Tiger Woods

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