Dove Mountain plays host to 64 of the world’s finest players as the sixth year of the Accenture Match Play gets under way this week. Adam Scott will be missing this week and it would be no surprise if Big Phil gives the tournament a miss as he has done for three of the past four years.
Backing an outsider for the outright lead would not be a poor choice at all as the last two winners have both been seeded 21st and no winner has been higher than No 8 in the past five years. This is because it is all about what happens on the day and a string of birdies for any player can put them in control of the match and into the next round.
Some of you may be backing Tiger to win just because of his sheer presence, world ranking and the fact he has won this event three times before, but his odds can not be justified in a tournament where upsets can occur at anytime. All of Tiger’s wins in this event have come before the event moved to Dove Mountain and since that move he has never progressed past the second round.
You could also back those on form but this doesn’t narrow it down at all because there are many players on form at the start of the 2014 season. Bubba Watson won last week at the Northern Trust Open, Dustin Johnson has come second in his last two tournaments and Jimmy Walker who is top of the money list in the US and has won three events this season already. You can not forget former world number 1 Rory Mcilroy who is playing like a new man after a torrid 2013, has finished in the top ten in his last five appearances and is looking to continue this form for the Masters. The Main guy at the Accenture Match Play has to be Hunter Mahan who has lost just one match in the last two stagings, his lose coming in the final last year against Matt Kuchar.