Odds Window Open WGC Match Play

RSS

2007- WGC-AccentureEditor's Note: When last posted, this column had installed eventual winner Padraig Harrington at 12-1 to win the PGA. Now for this first foray of 2009, its March Madness in February. Were just 21 days away from poring over basketball brackets. So to give you a little training run for that momentous exercise, we present to you the road map to the winner's circle of this years WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. And one more thing ' the over/under on number of times we hear a player or commentator say the phrase the beauty of match play is 16 .
 

 

BOBBY JONES BRACKET
 
FIRST ROUND
 
1. Tiger Woods VS. 16. Brendan Jones' Welcome back, Eldrick. The golf rankings computer spits out a perfect present for your first round matchup ' an Aussie. Tigers record against Aussies in this event is rather dubious. Nick OHern has taken him down twice. Peter OMalley upset him in the first round in 2002. Aaron Baddeley nearly sprung the surprise last year. The only thing Brendan Jones has in common with Tiger is his age. But I bet he hasnt played in front of some of the crowds that hes going to see on Wednesday.
 
PICK ' WOODS
 

8. Tim Clark VS. 9. Retief Goosen' A pretty good matchup of South Africans with the winner likely getting Tiger. I hope neither of these guys are looking ahead.
 
PICK ' GOOSEN
 

4. Rory McIlroy VS. 13. Louis Oosthuizen ' I dare you to step in front of the Rory Express and put a halt to the torrid run hes been on since he blew a chance to win at the Omega Masters (a win, a runner-up, five other top 10s). Louis, you have a real unique last name to spell but I dont think you can derail Rorys run.
 
PICK ' MCILROY
 

5. Mike Weir VS. 12. Hunter Mahan ' Mahan earned his stripes on the US Ryder Cup team last September winning 3 points, including a singles draw with Paul Casey. Weir-sy did take out Tiger at the Presidents Cup in 2007. The Canuck also plays these desert courses a lot better than Hunter does. Lets try to keep it out of rattlesnake territory.
 
PICK ' WEIR
 

2. Geoff Ogilvy VS. 15. Kevin Sutherland ' Ogilvy has taken this tournament by the scruff of the neck two of the last three years having won it, finished second, but bowing out in the first round last year. However, Sutherland also has a Match Play Championship on his resume. Still, this year's Mercedes Benz champion is always good for something on the West Coast and he really hasnt done much on this go-around. So hes due and an upset here wouldnt shock me. But Im not picking it.
 
PICK ' OGILVY
 

7. Trevor Immelman VS. 10. Shingo Katayama ' When I went through the world rankings to match everyone up, I was so disappointed by the fact that Alvaro Quiros was one spot away from facing Shingo in the first round. That would have had every aspiring Marty Hackel breaking down the hats instead of breaking down their games. The only way they could meet would be in the championship match. If that happens, NBC might switch coverage to the Style Network.
 
PICK ' KATAYAMA
 

3. Camilo Villegas VS. 14. Rodney Pampling ' How tough is it to play on Sunday in Perth, Australia and then show up on the first tee on Wednesday in Marana, Arizona? Were going to find out real quick when Camilo takes to the course. I hope Spiderman is immune to jet leg.
 
PICK ' PAMPLING
 

6. Miguel Angel Jimenez VS. 11. Rory Sabbatini ' Sabbatinis going to have a pseudo home-ice advantage since he went to the University of Arizona. But in the two years the Match Play has been held in Marana, he hasnt gotten out of the second round. Thats not going to cut it against a match play ace like Jimenez. Well see how sweet Angel's cigar is smelling if he pulls this one out.
 
PICK ' JIMENEZ
 


 

SECOND ROUND
 
1. TIiger Woods VS. 9. Retief Goosen ' This is the kind of second-round matchup that if it were held in the basketball tournament, it would be the marquee game at 12:30 Sunday afternoon. I got roasted for not putting Tiger as the favorite at Torrey Pines in the US Open and Im sure Im going to get roasted for this pick. Please give me a minute, though, as I put on my asbestos jumpsuit.
 
PICK ' GOOSEN
 

4. Rory McIlroy VS. 5. Mike Weir ' If the teenager doesnt have any problems in the first round, he might stand a real good chance of picking off Weir. But at some point, the kid has to run into the brick wall of experience. And when that happens, itll probably be pretty painful.
 
PICK ' WEIR
 

2. Geoff Ogilvy VS. 10. Shingo Katayama ' The cat with the hat might get all the attention for his haberdashery skills but theyre no match for Ogilvys prowess in match play.
 
PICK ' OGILVY
 

14. Rodney Pampling VS. 6. Miguel Angel Jiminez ' What is there to say about this matchup? If these two face each other, I think its safe to say that theyll be pretty lonely on the course.
 
PICK ' JIMENEZ
 

 
THIRD ROUND
 
9. Retief Goosen VS. 5. Mike Weir ' I realized after I made the Goosen pick that a potential Tiger-Weir rematch is quite feasible. But thats not going to make me change my selection. Though, it is awfully tempting.
 
PICK ' WEIR
 
2. Geoff Ogillvy VS. 6. Miguel Angel Jimenez ' When picking your way through these brackets, you have to be careful not to fall in love with a pick early on and thus work your way backwards through the bracket (starting at the championship and working your way to the first round). I dont think Im there with Ogilvy quite yet.
 
PICK ' OGILVY
 


 
QUARTERFINALS
 
5. Mike Weir VS. 2. Geoff Ogilvy ' OK, time to get serious. When you get to this point in the brackets, theres no such thing as luck ' youre a pretty good match-play player. That said, Ogilvys the more accomplished in this match-up. And thus, hell make his third trip to the semifinals in the last four years.
 
PICK ' OGILVY
 


 

BEN HOGAN BRACKET
 
FIRST ROUND
 
1. Vijay Singh VS. 16. Soren Kjeldsen ' Vijay must be feeling left out this month. The golf world has been obsessed with knees and comebacks and yet Vijay has been largely left out of the discussion. Since returning from his knee surgery, hes missed the cut at both Pebble Beach and Riviera. I dont think hell get very far in this event but he might have drawn a favorable matchup in the first round.
 
PICK ' SINGH
 

8. Ben Curtis VS. 9. Luke Donald ' Donald missed out on the Ryder Cup with his bad wrist and watched his fellow Europeans get mauled at Valhalla. Now is his time for revenge.
 
PICK ' DONALD
 

4. Ernie Els VS. 13. Soren Hansen ' Odd stat of the column: Els has won seven match play titles worldwide, yet he has been knocked out of the first round of the WGC version in four straight appearances. Insert caution flags here.
 
PICK ' HANSEN
 

5. Steve Stricker VS. 12. Dustin Johnson ' Heres another caution flag: Stricker has had the opportunity to close out two tournaments this year (Bob Hope and Northern Trust) and he failed in both instances. That doesnt instill much confidence.
 
PICK ' JOHNSON
 

2. Phil Mickelson VS. 15. Angel Cabrera ' Just last week at Riviera, I was wondering where in the world Cabrera had gone. Then he shot up the leaderboard into the top ten on his way to a T13 finish. Mickelsons record in this event is not all that good (he hasnt made the quarterfinals since 2004) and who knows how his swing will work this week. Will Butch be on speed-dial again?
 
PICK ' CABRERA
 

7. Zach Johnson VS. 10. Graeme McDowell ' Even though McDowell captured a singles win at the Ryder Cup, Zach has had the better of the play so far in 2009. A little overtime might be in order in this matchup.
 
PICK ' JOHNSON
 

3. Lee Westwood VS. 14. Prayad Marksaeng' Marksaeng made an end run into this event by finishing runner-up at the Malaysian Open. So at least hes making himself a nice paycheck because I cant see how hes going to stop this match play machine.
 
PICK ' WESTWOOD
 

6. Stewart Cink VS. 11. Richard Sterne ' I flipped at least four coins before making this pick and I went with my hunch that a guy who won two straight events in December will fare better than someone whose best finish since a win in June has been T-24.
 
PICK ' STERNE
 


 

SECOND ROUND
 
1. Vijay Singh VS. 9. Luke Donald ' Sorry, Vijay but I barely have enough confidence in you to win your first matchup based on your results since your return. Plus, Donald has been playing extremely well and he tends to like the match play format a bit better.
 
PICK ' DONALD
 

13. Soren Hansen VS. 12. Dustin Johnson ' Johnsons run on the West Coast each of the last two years has been nothing short of impressive. Hell likely bomb his drives past Hansen. But Hansen has Ryder Cup pedigree and that experience will serve as the trump card.
 
PICK ' HANSEN
 

15. Angel Cabrera VS. 7. Zach Johnson ' Its a US Open Champion versus a Masters Champion from that same season. This match-up is one year too late! Theres no buzz!
 
PICK ' JOHNSON
 

3. Lee Westwood VS. 11. Richard Sterne ' I hesitated with this pick as well, knowing that Sterne had that hot hand in South Africa in December. But again, Ryder Cup pedigree tends to be my tipping point when making these selections. Great logic, huh? Ill keep riding that horse.
 
PICK ' WESTWOOD
 

 
THIRD ROUND
 
9. Luke Donald VS. 13. Soren Hansen ' If this was the NCAA basketball tournament, the writers would be tripping over themselves to anoint a Cinderella. However, when its golf, you cant consider either of these guys a Cinderella. Though, it could make for an interesting story if one of them put on a glass slipper.
 
PICK ' DONALD
 

7. Zach Johnson VS. 3. Lee Westwood ' Westwood has finished out of the top 20 just three times since he left that tying putt short at the US Open. Zach Johnson has won twice since having a dedicated skull session with his people in Sea Island. This could be a really fun grudge match.
 
PICK ' JOHNSON
 


 
QUARTERFINALS
 
9. Luke Donald VS. 7. Zach Johnson ' Im not going to lie to you. I can find cases to pick either guy here. But my gut feeling is that Donald will be able to sustain his success through these rounds and having worked backwards, I dont have as much confidence in Johnson making it this far.
 
PICK ' DONALD
 


 

GARY PLAYER BRACKET
 
FIRST ROUND
 
1. Sergio Garcia VS. 16. Charl Schwarzel ' I have to pick Sergio here because theres better things down the line. More ahead.
 
PICK ' GARCIA
 

8. Ian Poulter VS. 9. Jeev Milka Singh' Driver not stolen? Check. Eyes working fine? Check. Outlandish pink pants? Check. Game in shape? Well see.
 
PICK ' POULTER
 

4. Justin Rose VS. 13. Boo Weekley ' Congratulations to Justin Rose on the birth of his new baby. Boos present to you will be a fishing pole and a dozen lures. Oh yeah, and a little defeat in this-here golf match.
 
PICK ' WEEKLEY
 

5. Adam Scott VS. 12. Sean OHair' One of the rules I have in the NCAA Tournament brackets is that if Id be picking the favorite to lose in the second round, Id go for the upset if I thought there was a pretty good chance at it. And since I have bigger and better things upcoming, heres an upset.
 
PICK ' OHAIR
 
2. Robert Karlsson VS. 15. Peter Hanson ' What do you think these two Swedes will talk about as they walk the fairways? Possibly Peter Forsbergs return to hockey? What about the best way to make meatballs?
 
PICK ' KARLSSON
 

7. Alvaro Quiros VS. 10. Stephen Ames ' Stephen, you are less than 24 hours away from saying something silly to fire up Quiros. Come on, mention something about his outfits or ask him if he got a bowl of soup with that hat he wore when he won at Qatar. If anything, just watch this match to see the new Mr. Style on the European Tour.
 
PICK ' AMES
 

3. Kenny Perry VS. 14 .Mathew Goggin ' If Perry brings the same desert game to Tucson that he had in winning the FBR Open in Phoenix, this will be a wipe-out.
 
PICK ' PERRY
 

6. Paul Casey VS. 11. Aaron Baddeley ' I have a match play crush on Casey. I dont know what it is but I always seem to pick him in this event. Hes made it into the third round each of the last two years. Maybe thats it.
 
PICK ' CASEY
 


 

SECOND ROUND
 
1. Sergio Garcis VS. 8. Ian Poulter ' Just wait one more round. I promise you that Ill have something good.
 
PICK ' GARCIA
 
13. Boo Weekley VS. 12. Sean O'Hair ' And if you look closely, I think you know whats in store.
 
PICK ' WEEKLEY
 
2. Robert Karlsson VS. 10. Stephen Ames ' The only thing that might scare me about making this pick is that the only time Stephen Ames has gotten out of the first round in this event, he made it to the quarterfinals in 2007. Karlsson has never gotten out of the first round. Gulp.
 
PICK ' KARLSSON
 
3. Kenny Perry VS. 6. Paul Casey ' This is likely were my match play crush mentality gets me in trouble. Come on, Paul, just one more round!
 
PICK ' CASEY
 


 

THIRD ROUND
 
1. Sergio Garcia VS. 13. Boo Weekley ' If a Tiger-Goosen matchup is the marquee second round match-up, this is the glittering scenario for Fridays third round. Can Sergio score some revenge for Boos cheerleading efforts at the Ryder Cup? Will Boo recruit the entire city of Tucson to come out and then lead the charges as he hits every green and putt? If these two survive long enough to faceoff here, the media crush should be huge and I think the pressure will be pretty huge, too. And I like the looser player when the pressure is ratcheted up a couple of notches.
 
PICK ' WEEKLEY
 

2. Robert Karlsson VS. 6. Paul Casey ' My crush against a guy that has never been out of the first round in this event. I shudder at the thought. My bracket could be completely destroyed because of my narrow-minded ways. The sad part about this potential match-up is that it will have to go at the same time as the above match-up and thats a shame because this could be a match that is just as good.
 
PICK ' KARLSSON
 


 

QUARTERFINALS
 
13. Boo Weekley VS. 2. Robert Karlsson ' Boo couldnt possibly crash the semifinals, could he? If Tiger and Phil are out of the mix as I expect them to be, that would be the biggest story by far. But I just have a feeling that if Karlsson can make it this far, his game is just steady enough to keep the run going.
 
PICK ' KARLSSON
 


 

SAM SNEAD BRACKET
 
FIRST ROUND
 
1. Padraig Harrington VS. 16. Pat Perez ' Do you have enough fire left after roasting me for my Tiger pick in the second round to singe me a bit more? Paddy has been trying to find his game in the US this year and hasnt had much luck, missing the cut in his last two events. Perez has a win at the Hope but has also played six weeks in a row. We might have to halt this match after nine holes for a quick nap. But Im going with the upset in this one.
 
PICK ' PEREZ
 

8. Robert Allenby VS. 9. Ross Fisher ' Every time I see Ross Fishers name, I think of how he blew the 2008 HSBC Champions event in China when he had the lead on the final hole and chipped across the green into the water, ultimately losing to Phil Mickelson in a playoff. Thats not a good impression to have.
 
PICK ' ALLENBY
 

4. Jim Furyk VS. 13. Anders Hansen ' With all the Hansens/Hansons in the field, teenyboppers in the Tucson area might get confused and think an updated version of Mmmmbop will be performed.
 
PICK ' FURYK
 

5. Martin Kaymer VS. 12. Stuart Appleby ' Kaymer loves the desert. He has a win, two runner-ups and a fourth in his last six trips to the sand, all on the European Tour. And since were not playing this at Kapalua, I find it difficult to pick Appleby.
 
PICK ' KAYMER
 

2. Henrik Stenson VS. 15. Davis Love III ' If Kaymer loves the desert, whats the definition for Stenson? Hes just as good in the sandy stuff AND he won this event across the street back in 2007. Buthes facing DL3 who also has an impeccable match play record and who has been making all kinds of strides since the Fall Series of last year. But I dont think hell be able to overcome Stensons desert run.
 
PICK ' STENSON
 

7. Justin Leonard VS. 10. Andres Romero ' In a best-of-seven coin toss, Leonard ended up winning.
 
PICK ' LEONARD
 

3. Anthony Kim VS. 14. Lin Wen-Tang ' Kim, like Villegas, played in the Johnnie Walker last weekend. But unlike Villegas, he also played the week before in Malaysia so he was able to spend two weeks in a foreign time zone versus Camilos one and done. What does it all mean? It might not mean anything if Kim lays a haymaker on Lin.
 
PICK ' KIM
 

6. KJ Choi VS. 11. Oliver Wilson ' Oliver Wilson doesnt get much love. He has never won an event despite finishing runner-up eight times. He made the Ryder Cup team last year and when asked about this matchup, a fellow Golf Channel producer didnt give him much of a chance. What is it that no one else is seeing?
 
PICK ' WILSON
 


 

SECOND ROUND
 
16. Pat Perez VS. 8. Robert Allenby ' This is about the point where playing six straight weeks will catch up to Pat Perez. Its been a good run, Double P. Now go home and get some rest for the Florida swing.
 
PICK ' ALLENBY
 

4. Jim Furyk VS. 5. Martin Kaymer ' Furyk might look at Kaymers desert record and laugh at it. And Ive already leaned on Ryder Cup credentials. But Kaymer was a part of the European team last year, though he didnt play. He was in the team room and learned some valuable experience lessons. Dont be shocked if the German pulls off this upset.
 
PICK ' FURYK
 

2. Henrick Stenson VS. 7. Justin Leonard ' I cant think of any situation where Leonard could beat Stenson. The Swede may not say much but his golf game sure does a lot of talking.
 
PICK ' STENSON
 

3. Anthony Kim VS. 11. Oliver Wilson ' Why do I get the feeling that if these two face each other, that Kim is going to give Ollie a similar beating that he gave to Sergio at Valhalla?
 
PICK ' KIM
 

 
THIRD ROUND
 
8. Robert Allenby VS. 4. Jim Furyk ' One thing going against Allenby is his balky putter. It cost him a win at Turning Stone in September. And a balky putter is certainly something you dont want in match play.
 
PICK ' FURYK
 

2. Henrik Stenson VS. 3. Anthony Kim ' There was something about watching AK at Valhalla that made me think that he could be the next big force in match play, similar to what Tiger is. Thats a scary thought.
 
PICK ' KIM
 

 
QUARTERFINALS
 
4. Jim Furyk VS. 3. Anthony Kim ' Its a brash young superstar versus an accomplished veteran of match play situations. As much as Kims demolition of Sergio leaves a huge impression, I think theres a lot to be said about someone who has been there year in and year out.
 
PICK ' FURYK
 

 

SEMIFINALS
 
Geoff Ogillvy VS. Luke Donald' Theres just something about Geoff Ogilvy and this event. Should he make it to this point, hell have a 15-2 career record. Those are Tiger-type numbers. Donald, meanwhile, will have made it past the third round for the first time. Its tough to go against those results should these two meet up in the semifinals.
 
PICK ' OGILVY
 
Robert Karlsson VS. Jim Furyk ' Karlssons never been out of the first round at this event. Furyk has never been to the quarterfinals. Maybe I should have thought about that before picking them to get to this point. But since Karlsson was eliminated in the first round of this event last year, he finished top ten in three of the four majors, won twice, and captured the European Tour Order of Merit. I think he has the better game at this point.
 
PICK ' KARLSSON
 


 
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
 
Geoff Ogillvy VS. Robert Karlsson ' And when it comes down to the 36-hole championship match, I think that Ogilvys sterling record will trump that steady game of Karlssons. But lets face it, this bracket is a complete crapshoot and we could easily have a championship match of Tiger vs. Sergio. And if that happens, NBCs rating on Sunday should be monumental.
 
PICK -- OGILVY
 
Related Links:
  • Match Play Scoring
  • Full Coverage ' Tiger's Return
  • Match Play Bracket
  • Full Coverage ' WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship