Expert picks: WGC-Accenture Match Play
- By Golf Channel Digital
- Feb 21, 2012 1:00 PM ET
This is another double week for fantasy players! GolfChannel.com experts offer up their fantasy choices below for the WGC-Accenture Match Play, and their selections for the Mayakoba Golf Classic can be seen here. Each week a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players based on Golf Channel's new fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel consists of: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and Win McMurry; editorial director Jay Coffin; RotoWorld.com's Rob Bolton; "Morning Drive" hosts Gary Williams and Erik Kuselias; and Golf Talk Central contributor Ryan Ballengee.
Group 1: Luke Donald: Right now there is not a more solid, dependable, consistent player. Not only is he the defending champion, but I admire the way he gets things done when the pressure is on.
Group 2: Matt Kuchar: He made it to the Final Four last year in the same bracket as the same seed. He doesn't have an easy road, but he's navigated it before.
Group 3: Ian Poulter: Despite his not-so-comfortable flight to Arizona after oversleeping on Monday, he has the attitude, swagger and game to go one-on-one with anyone. Won this event two years ago and will defend his Volvo Match Play title later this year.
Group 4: Bill Haas: After his playoff win, I see him riding the momentum into this week the way Phil did last week in LA. He did go out to Bubba last year in the first round, but that was before his stellar summer.
Group 1: Kyle Stanley: One of the best on the PGA Tour to start the year, his combination of length and touch makes him lethal.
Group 2: Bubba Watson: A semifinalist last year, Watson hasn't finished worse than 18th this year on the PGA Tour.
Group 3: Rory McIlroy: He's the best golfer on the planet right now.
Group 4: Tiger Woods: A three-time winner in the match play, Woods' weakness - putting - may actually be masked by the large, rolling greens of Dove Mountain.
Group 1: Luke Donald: Last year's champion is a tough out in this format due to his propensity for getting up and down from everywhere. A final round at Riviera that saw six consecutive bogeys at one point should be cause for concern, but expect the No. 1 seed to figure things out in a hurry.
Group 2: Kevin Na: Slow and steady wins the race - or something like that. Na has been known to play sublime golf in the desert, once nearly winning his first PGA Tour event at the now-defunct tournament in Tucson.
Group 3: Sergio Garcia: It took quite a while, but this just in: Sergio has learned how to putt. If he continues rolling his rock as he did on Sunday at Riviera, expect him to carry some momentum deep into the weekend.
Group 4: Nick Watney: He faces a potentially tough out in Tiger Woods on Thursday, but Watney stays surprisingly calm when thrown into the fire. If he gets past that match, he could have smooth sailing to the Final Four from there.
Group 1: Dustin Johnson: Tough to bet against Luke Donald at the Match Play, but DJ has looked surprisingly staedy the last two weeks and has the game to dismantle Dove Mountain.
Group 2: Jonathan Byrd: He lives for these types of head-to-head matchups and it is apropos that the man whose modern swing most resembles Ben Hogan's would emerge from "the Hawk's" namesake bracket.
Group 3: Rory McIlroy: In what could be arguably this week's deepest bracket, the Ulsterman is the default pick and he should have little trouble advancing past the Elite Eight.
Group 4: Tiger Woods: In a faceoff between two superstars with frigid putters, we went with the guy who has been bounced in the first round just twice in 11 Match Play starts vs the guy (Lee Westwood) who has four Day 1 exits in 11 attempts.
Group 1: Luke Donald: The guy's won eight of his last nine Accenture matches.
Group 2: Steve Stricker: Not his favorite golf course, but his short game and wedge work make him formidable in match play.
Group 3: Geoff Ogilvy: At 20-4 in this event, it's hard to bet against him, regardless of form.
Group 4: Webb Simpson: Simpson is confident and consistent, which puts him 1-up on the first tee.
Group 1: Luke Donald: Short-game artist whose game is rewarded at Dove Mountain. The defending champ is 16-6 in seven appearances.
Group 2: Matt Kuchar: Went 5-1 in last year's edition. Only loss was to the eventual champion, Luke Donald.
Group 3: Rory McIlroy: His bracket is a bear, but he's the top seed and has nine top-10s in his last 10 starts worldwide.
Group 4: Nick Watney: Either you're all-in or you fold before the bet with birdie machines. This bracket is wide-open.
You can watch complete coverage of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Wednesday-Friday live on Golf Channel from 2PM-6PM ET.
Contributions from writers and editors on the Golf Channel Digital team.
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