US teammates Spieth, Reed draw same WGC Match Play group

Texas native Jordan Spieth will find a familiar face waiting for him in round-robin play at the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas, this week in sometime US teammate Patrick Reed.

Spieth and Reed have teamed to great effect in two Ryder Cups and last year’s Presidents Cup, but will be meeting as match play opponents for the first time.

Sixteen groups of four will play round-robin matches from Wednesday through Friday at Austin Country Club, where knockout competition begins with Saturday’s round of 16.

Australian Jason Day, the 2016 champion when Austin Country Club hosted the event for the first time, beat South African Louis Oosthuizen in the final that year.

They’ll meet in the group stage this time around.

Reigning champion Dustin Johnson’s group includes Presidents Cup teammate Kevin Kisner.

The top 16 ranked players are the top seeds in their respective groups, with the other spots decided by a random draw on Monday.

Spain’s Jon Rahm, runner-up to Johnson last year, heads a group that also includes Kiradech Aphibarnrat, winner of the World Super 6 Perth event, Chez Reavie and Keegan Bradley.

“Certainly not an easy group,” Rahm said.

Spain’s Sergio Garcia, building toward his Masters title defense in April, opens in a group that includes US PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele, Dylan Frittelli, who won a US collegiate title for the University of Texas, and Shubhankar Sharma of India.

Sharma broke through for a European Tour victory at the Joburg Open in December and won again in Kuala Lumpur in February before challenging at the WGC Mexico Championship this month.