It might be only polite for Si Woo Kim to send Rickie Fowler a thank-you note in the next few days. Fowler’s decision to skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play Championship allowed Kim to sneak into the 64th, and final spot, in the field at Austin Country Club.
The top 64 players on the World Ranking after the Valspar Championship automatically qualified to compete in the WGC event, but had to commit by Friday afternoon to officially be in the field. Five players—Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Adam Hadwin and Fowler—bowed out. This allowed Nos. 65-69 on the World Ranking—Jason Dufner, K.T. Kim, Joost Luiten, Pat Perez and Si Woo Kim, the chance to go to Austin.
No. 70 on the ranking is Tony Finau. If a player were to get injured prior to the start of round robin play on Wednesday, Finau would get in. However, Finau is also the defending champion at the Puerto Rico Open, which is being played opposite the Match Play next week, creating a bit of a dilemma for the 27-year-old. According to Golf Channel, Finau, who has never played a WGC event, will bypass going to Puerto Rico to wait out the chance to get to play in Austin.
"Second alternate, just talking with my manager, I think we would've just gone to Puerto Rico," Finau told Golf Channel. "But being the first alternate, you don't want to not be there."
The grouping of players for round-robin play takes place Monday night during a draw party televised on Golf Channel.