We have the best players in the world all congregating in Marana, Arizona to compete in a Match Play formatted tournament. This week the golf starts on Wednesday and will continue all the way to Sunday afternoon. The Accenture Match Play Championship is one of my favourite tournaments of the year and this week looks like it will have no shortage of excitement and drama for its viewers.
We enter this week on a high after Bill Haas was victorious at the Northern Trust Open. I am sure everyone was on the edge of their seats during the closing holes and the 3 person playoff. We have now hit winners in two straight weeks. Let’s go for number 3!
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain
The PGA professionals will be attempting to conquer a course designed by one of the all-time greats of their game, Jack Nicklaus. Jack designed this golf course not only as one that could hold a PGA event, but as an experience for any avid golfer to attend. The course is set up so fans are very close to the action, with exciting shots to be witnessed and enjoyed.
The Golf Club is a 27 Hole design, but they have two Championship nines the players will be playing. At a combined 7849 yards, the players will be hitting the ball a long, long way, to score well on this Par 72 beast.
With a legend like Nicklaus designing the course, you know he took every detail into consideration to challenge the professionals of today. The course has length as previously mentioned, but it also has interesting elevation changes, various styles of bunkers, and carefully shaped greens. As this course is in the desert, you will see some players this week having to deal with shots from the natural sand and around some interesting vegetation.
My favourite hole on this gorgeous course is Number 15. This is a driveable Par 4 that stretches out 343 yards in length, but is a hole that tends to be near the end of many matches. The average length of a match is 16.2 holes which makes the 15th even more exciting. We will see eagles, we will see birdies and we will see matches end on this great hole.
This week we have almost every big name in the world competing in the event. Phil Mickelson and Paul Casey are the only two large names not participating due to an injury (Casey) and prior commitments (Mickelson). Nevertheless, the excitement always increases when all of the best golfers come together to play.
On American soil this year we have had the opportunity to witness the talents of Bill Haas, Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and even a little bit of Tiger Woods. Now add the likes of Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, and Ian Poulter to the mix and we are in for some serious shot making this week.
With the format being Match Play, the players are forced to accelerate their game plans as they are in an 18 Hole battle, as opposed to the usual 72 hole tournament. Fitness comes into play as players have the potential of playing 6 matches if they are good enough to make it to the finals.
The 6 Pack System picks are sent out to members only. If you want to sign up please visit www.GolfBanker.com.
I will be posting daily head-to-head match up picks below after Round 1 (first round picks sent to members through email).
Second Round Head to Head Match Ups
We are going with two matchups on Day 2.
Martin Laird (-110) over Matteo Manassero – Martin struck
the ball beautifully on Day 1 against Quiros. He won on the 18th hole with a
dart of an approach shot that was conceded for birdie. Laird’s length advantage
will be showcased in this match up against the young Italian Matteo. Though the
18 year old Matteo has tons of talent, he is prone to making mental errors on
the course. We are getting an excellent price on Laird here and it is my top
play. RESULT – WIN 2&1
Dustin Johnson (-140) over Francesco Molinari – We are betting
against another one of the Italian golfers in our second match up. Dustin
Johnson took a few holes to get going but when he did it was largely due to his
excellent chipping. He did not drive the ball or put the ball well and still
managed to beat Jim Furyk. I was very impressed with Dustin’s ability to get up
and down, something essential to winning these tightly contested match ups.
Molinari will get beat on the lengthy Par 5s, thus putting him in a difficult
hole. Let’s see it DJ. RESULT – WIN 7&5
Third Round Head to Head Match Ups (Friday, Feb 24th)
Congratulations to everyone on winning both 2nd round selections.
We are only going with 1 head-to-head in round 3.
Martin Laird (-130) over Paul Lawrie
–We are going with the student over the professor. Lawrie has played rounds with Laird in Scotland
and this is a great Match play duo. Laird will once again over power the course
and teach his mentor a lesson.
RESULT – WIN 3&1
Fourth Round Head to Head Match Ups (Saturday, Feb 25th)
Congratulations to everyone on winning our 1 play on Friday. We have 2 selections for
Saturdays Match ups.
Peter Hanson (-120) over Mark Wilson
Hanson had absolutely no problem with Snedeker on Friday as he beat him 5&3. Hanson utilized an
excellent short game to make 8 birdies in just 15 holes. In the fourth round he
matches up against the steady Mark Wilson. Wilson however did not look sharp at
all against Dustin Johnson, but advanced due to Dustin feeling under the
weather. Making Pars will not cut it for Wilson in this match up because of how
well Hanson is playing. We are going with the solid Swedish golfer in this one.
Martin Laird (+145) over Lee Westwood
Laird has been winning us cash so far and we are going with him once again. He has made
only 2 bogeys over his last 38 holes, thus not giving away holes. This trend
will have to continue in round 4 because he matches up against one of the world’s
best in Lee Westwood. Lee played about as solid as you can against Watney on
Friday and his swing looks great. In what I fully expect to be a very close
match, we are going with the long bombing Scot again.
Enjoy the golf everyone