World number one Rory McIlroy as well as the next two in the rankings, Sweden`s Henrik Stenson and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, will play at the World Golf Championships Match Play, organizers said Monday.
McIlroy, who will try to win his third successive major and complete a career grand slam next week at the Masters, will likely be the man to beat in the field of 64 at Harding Park from April 29 to May 3, the eve of his 26th birthday.
The Northern Ireland star, whose major wins include the 2011 US Open plus the 2012 and 2014 PGA Championship and 2014 British Open, was runner-up in the WGC Match Play three years ago to American Hunter Mahan but has never won the event.
Third-ranked Watson could match Jack Nicklaus as the only men to win three green jackets at Augusta National over four years with a Masters repeat. Watson has three top-10 finishes in four appearances at the WGC Match Play, including fourth-place in 2011.
World number two Stenson, the 2007 WGC Match Play winner, was the runner-up in the European Tour`s World Match Play Championship last year and third in the 2008 WGC Match Play.