This week marks the 14th event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, as players head to Arizona for the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. A field of 64 players will tackle the Golf Club at Dove Mountain, where the season's second WGC event will test their ability to survive the unpredictability of match play.
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1. Rory McIlroy: The Ulsterman enters as one of the four top seeds, and his recent form makes him the odds-on favorite to emerge victorious. McIlroy was a runner-up here to Mahan just two years ago, and while he was bounced in the first round last year he's unlikely to make an early exit again. He had promising finishes during the Desert Swing last month and is again showing signs of the player who once topped the world rankings.
2. Jason Day: Day made the semifinals here a year ago as an 11 seed and now should have a considerably easier draw as the 2 seed in the Jones Bracket. The Aussie has compiled more than his fair share of high finishes against elite fields recently and boasts an 8-3 overall record in this event.
3. Dustin Johnson: DJ enters off a pair of near-misses, finishing just short in the last two weeks at Pebble Beach and Riviera. Johnson's record in this event isn't exactly inspiring - four first-round exits in the last five years - but his recent form is. Dove Mountain is a course where his bombing style will be rewarded if he's able to keep things firing on all cylinders.
4. Zach Johnson: Johnson should be well-rested, having taken a few weeks off following his torrid stretch through December and January. The former Masters champ has been one of the best around for nearly eight months, and his world-class wedge play should yield dividends this week. This course often favors the longer players off the tee, but ZJ has the overall game to make a deep run.
5. Jordan Spieth: At some point, the 20-year-old will show signs of regression, but they don't appear to be on the horizon. Spieth contended once again last week, ultimately finishing T-14 at Riviera, and enters this week as one of the most confident players in the bracket. His aggressive style could get him in trouble against a seasoned opponent, but betting against the Texan hasn't exactly been a sound strategy over the past 12 months.
6. Hunter Mahan: A winner here two years ago, Mahan nearly went back-to-back before losing to Kuchar in the finals last year. He clearly enjoys the confines of match play, and his recent record includes a pair of top-10 finishes in 2014. A potential date with Zach Johnson in the second round looms, though, which could knock out one of the stronger players in this week's field.
7. Matt Kuchar: The defending champ saw his lengthy made-cut streak come to an end last week at Riviera, but at least he'll be able to start a new one at Dove Mountain. Kuchar has been a fixture at this event, making at least the quarterfinals each of the past three years and compiling a 15-3 overall record in the process. The former U.S. Amateur champ is another that clearly enjoys the strategic aspect of match play, and a potential third-round matchup with Spieth could be must-see TV.
8. Sergio Garcia: El Nino bringing his game to the U.S. for the first time in 2014, fresh off a strong Desert Swing that included a win in Qatar. As a result, Garcia finds himself in uncharted territory near the top of the world rankings, and a strong showing this week could propel him even higher. The Spaniard has experienced his fair share of first-round flameouts in this event, but did finish fourth here in 2010.
9. Henrik Stenson: The overall top seed won a pair of season-long titles in 2013, but has failed to replicate that dominant form across the first few weeks of 2014. Stenson has battled through a series of injuries in recent months, but the high number of recent rounds for the Swede appears to have taken a toll. He's difficult to beat when he's on his game, but this event has rarely been kind to its No. 1 seed in years past.
10. Bubba Watson: Watson was a runner-up in Phoenix, then finished one better in Los Angeles. The southpaw's game can hardly be described as consistent, but when he's "on" he can be nearly impossible to knock out on a lengthy track like Dove Mountain. Watson currently leads the Tour in driving distance and has compiled a solid 7-4 record across the past three years in this event.