There were no surprises when the PGA Tour released the field for next week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Neither Tiger Woods nor Phil Mickelson committed to the event, moving Steve Stricker into the top spot followed by Lee Westwood, Jim Furyk and Martin Kaymer as his fellow top-seeded players.
Woods returned to golf after a knee injury cut short his 2008 season at last year’s Match Play Championship, but announced he would be taking an indefinite hiatus following a November car accident and few expected the world No. 1 to be back at Dove Mountain.
Mickelson announced at last month’s Farmers Insurance Open that he would miss the Match Play for the first time since 2001, to spend time with his wife, who is recovering from breast cancer, and family.
The two missing headliners were replaced in the field by England’s Chris Wood and Ross McGowan, ranked 65th and 66th in the world, respectively.
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano is the first alternate at 67th in the World Ranking, but according to his manager Rocky Hambric with Hambric Sports Management the Spaniard will wait until Monday to decide if he will travel to Tucson.
Fernandez-Castano has a flight scheduled for Tuesday from Spain to Arizona but if there doesn’t appear to be any injuries or withdrawals he likely will not make the trip, making Ben Curtis, at 68th in the world, the first alternate.