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 after a heartbreaking loss. Not only did Jacobson (85 to 1) have a birdie putt on 17 that somehow managed to miss, he also made a bogey on the 18th hole. We have been very close the past few weeks and hope to break out of the slump in Arizona.
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. Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, and Ian Poulter are just a few of the big names you will watching 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 tournament will be decided over 5days, with the rare Wednesday start. This will be the 5th season the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club (Dove Mountain) has hosted the event. Previous winners while at this course are (Geoff Ogilvy (2009), Ian Poulter (2010), Luke Donald (2011), and Hunter Mahan (2012)).
When it comes to the WGC Accenture Match Play bracket, do not look too far into the players rankings. This is far from the NCAA Tournament bracket where a number 1 seed has never lost in the 1st round. To be successful at predicting this tournament you have to look at current form and the players path to the finals.
Steve’s Outright Winner Picks (6 Pack System)
These picks have been emailed out to members. To sign up for a membership visit www.GolfBanker.com
Head to Head Daily Match Up Picks
The head to head picks will be sent out daily for this match play tournament, but we will include one free pick below for the first round for anyone who is not a member. If you would like to receive my daily emails with my picks click here to sign up.
Round 1 Match Up Pick = Branden Grace (+125) over Robert Garrigus – I really like Grace’s chances this week and feel he should make short work of Robert Garrigus. Though Robert hits the ball a long ways, it wont intimidate Grace what so ever. Grace is a much better iron player and a far superior putter, skills that will help him win this matchup. I also cannot believe he is an underdog, these are excellent odds.