The 19th edition of the World Golf Championships – Dell Match Play gets under way Wednesday at the Austin Country Club as the PGA Tour steps away from its usual stroke play format and goes with an in-your-face round robin match-play competition. It’s likely that the brackets, like those for the NCAA College Basketball Tournament, that have popped up will see thousands of golf fans go top-heavy by choosing the top five ranked players in a bid to win bragging rights.

A look at the top 5

Here’s a look at those top five ranked players in the tournament and who they have to get by in order to go deep into the event.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson of the U.S. takes on Major Championship winners Jimmy Walker (18) of the U.S., Martin Kaymer (41) of Germany and American Webb Simpson (58). Based on Johnson’s red hot last couple of outings, victories at the Genesis Open and WGC – Mexico Championship – the South Carolinian ought to make it through against these three since none of them has stood out so far in the 2016-2017 campaign.

McIlroy slipped into second

Rory McIlroy slipped into second in the rankings off his T4 finish in last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. The Northern Irishman plays Emiliano Grillo (26) of Argentina, Gary Woodland (33) of the U.S. and Soren Kjeldsen (62) of Denmark in the round robin round.

McIlroy has performed at a high level since returning from injury and could win the whole thing in a breeze if he brings his putting up to the high standards he’s set so far with his driver and irons. Australian Jason Day has settled into third on the ladder after getting bounced out of first by Johnson and dropped a spot last week by McIlroy.

Day could be primed to be upset through a combination of the nagging injuries he’s suffered and the grind scheduling that the WGC -- Dell Match Play presents players. His group includes fellow countryman Marc Leishman (28), who won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Lee Westwood (43) of England and Pat Perez (56) of the U.S.

Matsuyama owns 4th world ranking

Consistent threat Hideki Matsuyama of Japan owns the fourth world ranking. Matsuyama brings his two victories and two seconds into the fray in Austin. The guys he’s looking to knock off in the round robin are former Open champ Louis Oosthuizen (23) of South Africa, Ross Fisher (47) of England and veteran Jim Furyk (51) of the U.S. Furyk should appeal to bracket builders since he has proven to do well on courses like the Austin Country Club that reward brains more so than brawn. Coming in through the ranking’s five hole, replacing world number five Henrik Stenson of Sweden, who pulled out due to personal reasons, is Texan Jordan Spieth. Spieth gets Ryan Moore (32) of the U.S., Yuta Ikeda (37) of Japan and Hideto Tanihara (54) of Japan.

Spieth is odds on to advance since he’s well rested after taking a pass on playing in the Valspar Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The absolute longshot in the event is KT Kim (64) of South Korea. Kim’s uphill climb into the later rounds starts with matches against reigning Masters Champ Danny Willett (11), Russell Knox (17) of Scotland and Bill Haas (42) of the U.S. Austin Country Club plays 7,108 yards and is a par 71

Favorites: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Jim Furyk, Danny Willett.

Players to watch: Jordan Spieth, Marc Leishman, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Russell Knox.

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