Match Play field set with possibilities that remain for more

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Gary Woodland watches his tee shot on the sixth hole during the first round of the The Players Championship golf tournament Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The most recent world ranking determines the 64-man field for the Dell Technologies Match Play next week in Texas, and there remains much to be determined.

Three players made big moves on both sides of the Atlantic. First, Antoine Rozner made a 60-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win the Qatar Masters, moving the Frenchman from No. 99 to No. 63. Then, Brian Harman shot 69 to tie for third at The Players Championship and went from No. 95 to No. 58 in the world, while Talor Gooch closed with a 67 to tie for fifth, moving him from No. 82 to No. 64.

But it won’t stop there. The field at Austin Country Club is for the top 64 available from the world ranking. Tiger Woods is out with serious leg injuries from his car crash in Los Angeles. Adam Scott said he will not be playing. That means Ian Poulter (No. 65) and Eric van Rooyen (No. 66) are in.

There could be as many three other spots available, or there could be none.

Justin Rose withdrew from the third round at Bay Hill with a bad back and he withdrew last week. It was unclear whether he would enter the Match Play, which he chose to skip in 2017 and 2018. Brooks Koepka had a strain in his right leg that forced him out of The Players and this week’s Honda Classic. His status has not been determined.

Most curious is the case of Gary Woodland, the former U.S. Open champion and a Match Play finalist in 2015. Woodland tested positive for the coronavirus and had to withdraw from the Honda Classic. Under the PGA Tour guidelines, he has to self-isolate for 10 days.

That likely would take him to Wednesday, which ordinarily would be enough time to play the following week. But in this case, the Match Play starts on Wednesday.

Woodland has not decided what he will do. Still to be determined is whether he could concede his match on Wednesday and play the next two days to try to win his group and advance to the knockout portion of the weekend.