The Accenture Match Play Championship works in reverse.
The opening round Wednesday is filled with 32 matches and plenty of action. Thursday isnt too bad, either, with 16 matches. But when the final round arrives Sunday, only two players have a chance to win.
Not surprisingly, attendance dwindles.
The attendance Saturday at Dove Mountain was 7,640, nearly half as much as Thursdays session, but still higher than last year when Tiger Woods won two matches on his way to victory.
Geoff Ogilvy noticed it the first year he won this tournament, beating Davis Love III in the final.
When were alone for breakfast at La Costa, theres 25 tables in there, and Davis and I are walking one side of the room to the other, he said. The locker room attendant is standing over you the whole time because youre one of only two guys. You pull into the parking lot and theres two cars. When youre playing, it seems normal. But its all the little stuff.
There will be four players on the course in the afternoon.
Ogilvy and Paul Casey begin their 36-hole championship match in the morning, while Stewart Cink and Ross Fisher will play an 18-hole consolation match that begins in the afternoon.
THE PRACTICE ROUND: Geoff Ogilvy and Paul Casey live about 5 miles away from each other in Scottsdale, and they are members at Whisper Rock. Thats where they were playing when both decided to play a practice round at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club on Dove Mountain, a new site for this years tournament.
It would seem as simple as one guy picking up the other.
But it wasnt.
They drove separate cars. They played in 3 1/2 hours in carts, skipping the 11th hole because of a group in front of them.
And then they drove home.
Both of us drive cars that dont have many seats in them, Ogilvy said, referring to his Porsche.
Casey was a little more coy about the car he was driving, even after someone pointed out that Ogilvy mentioned his Porsche.
He probably got here quicker than I did, then, Casey replied.
BACK IN CINK: Stewart Cink became only the fourth player to reach the semifinals of the Accenture Match Play Championship in consecutive years, joining Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson and Geoff Ogilvy.
He didnt get a chance to play in the finals again ' Cink lost, 8 and 7, to Woods last year ' but he was pleased with his results.
Cink started poorly this year. He tied for 24th in the 33-man field at Kapalua, tied for 32nd at the Sony Open, then missed the cut at the FBR Open outside Phoenix. He didnt play again for three weeks, and that was no accident.
I worked really hard on my short game the last three weeks, Cink said. I was unhappy with my scoring.
He made one trip to Las Vegas to visit swing coach Butch Harmon, and Cink noticed a big difference in winning his first four matches against Richard Sterne, Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els.
DIVOTS: An American failed to reach the final match for only the second time in tournament history. The other was in 2007, when Stenson (Sweden) beat Ogilvy (Australia). The only hole this week when Casey did not have the lead was No. 1 in the second round against Mathew Goggin, when Casey came up short of the green, pitched to 4 feet and made par. The only hole Ogilvy and Casey did not play at Dove Mountain during their scouting trip two weeks ago was the par-5 11th. Both are only 1 under for the week.