Which is the best of the four WGC events

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The second of four World Golf Championships is taking place this week at Doral. Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell weigh in on which of the WGC event is the best of the quartet: Match Play (Dove Mountain); Cadillac (Doral); Bridgestone (Firestone); or HSBC Champions (Shanghai).

By REX HOGGARD

DORAL, Fla. – The World Golf Championships have become more than an off-the-shelf tournament but less than a major, which isn’t a bad niche for a sport with a 12-month cycle. Yet based on pure excitement, if not potential, the Accenture Match Play is the best in show.

Television producers likely hate the format’s volatility and players would not be keen to a steady diet of match-play events, but for a schedule awash with stroke-play outings, the Accenture is an oasis of strategy and survival.

As Jonathan Byrd once mused, it’s like 64 Sundays in one on Wednesday, a reality that magnifies the traditional adage “you can’t win a tournament on Thursday but you can lose one.”

Stroke-play events, by comparison, are double elimination endeavors. The three other WGCs are no-cut events, at the Match Play there is a cut every day – reality TV in real-time.

Although the best Wednesday on Tour often gives way to an anticlimactic weekend, the potential for pyrotechnics at the Match Play is greater, by design, than the other world meet-and-greets.

The Match Play may not have the best venue of the four, that honor belongs to the Bridgestone Invitational, but in a world of round pegs the Accenture fills a square-hole void.

By RANDALL MELL

DORAL, Fla. – Give me the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

I confess, though, I’m biased.

I relish the Match Play Championship, but as a newspaperman who once worked for 24 years in South Florida, Doral still feels like a hometown event. I’ve watched a lot of drama unfold at Doral.

The vivid images of history witnessed there make it my favorite. Greg Norman used to buzz the driving range in his helicopter when he arrived for the event, as if to let players know the Shark had arrived.

While it’s hard to forget the final-round 62 in ’90 in the first of Norman’s three victories here, it’s also hard to forget the dramatic way he lost in ’95. That’s when he infamously hooked a 6-iron so wildly at the 18th that he nearly hit the floating scoreboard losing to nemesis Nick Faldo.

There was the epic Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson duel in 2005, Raymond Floyd’s win at 49 after his South Florida home burned down in ‘92, Craig Parry’s long-range hole-out to win at the famed 18th in a playoff in ‘04, Ben Crenshaw making the only 72nd-hole birdie to win in tournament history in ’88.

Space limits me, but you get the idea . . .