Most weeks of the year, the main stage in golf doesn't fill with marquee players until the weekend, or at earliest, on Thursdays. But there are two Wednesdays on Tour unlike any other – the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play and the Par 3 Contest at the Masters. Which wins the award for best 'Hump Day' event? Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell weigh in with their takes.
By REX HOGGARD
You can have your bracket-ology, your Cinderella stories, your crashing contenders. Keep your 32 Sundays and a flurry of action that ends almost as quickly as it begins.
The best “Hump Day” in all the game arrives on the first Wednesday of April.
With apologies to competitive correctness this week’s first-round matches at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship are compelling. Riveting, even. But 64 millionaires playing for millions in a 13-year-old event may be good fun during what is otherwise a weekday lull, but for a game defined by its history, Augusta National’s Wednesday legacy cannot be beat.
What it lacks in competitive credibility, no one has ever confused the annual Par 3 Contest for a fifth major, Masters Wednesday makes up for with a tradition . . . well, like no other.
Nowhere else in the game can one perch himself high above Augusta National’s Par-3 Course and watch the likes of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus clash and cavort with the modern likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
It’s “Old Timers” day meets the All-Star game with a side of blooming azaleas and pimento cheese, and it’s the best Wednesday on Tour.
By RANDALL MELL
Do have your brackets dissected yet?
The dizzying pace of play with 32 matches, all the winning and losing usually reserved for Sundays, the March Madness feel, it’s all part of the formula that goes into making the first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship the best Wednesday in golf.
But there’s another element that makes this day special.
It’s your office pool.
Match play is more personal, the man-to-man nature of it bringing an edgy dynamic usually reserved for Sunday back-nine duels, but you can feel the edginess of this event among your work colleagues. You feel it because you want to whip them all in your office pool. You want bragging rights. It’s personal at the water cooler and in the break room when you hear the gloating and you’ve got nothing to gloat about with your picks failing you.
It’s the best Wednesday in golf because no other Wednesday gives you so much winning and losing. There’s more than winning and losing in 32 matches. There’s winning and losing every single hole. The win-or-go-home nature of it makes every match feel like a Sunday round on the PGA Tour. The win-or-hear-your cubicle mate taunt you adds to it, too.