WGC-Accenture Match Play: Fun facts and figures


Now in its 14th year, the WGC-Accenture Match Play has developed some patterns and trends which carry over into the bracket this week. Here are ten trends which might help in picking a winner at Dove Mountain.

1. 23 Americans are in the field this week and would have been 24 if Phil Mickelson had played this week. That's down two from last year, but up from a low of 17 in 2009.

2. 10 Americans are in the Ben Hogan bracket. The Hogan winner takes on the Jones winner, which features seven Yankees. On the other half of the bracket, there are just six Americans.

3. An American has not reached the finals of the Match Play since 2008, when Tiger Woods decimated Stewart Cink by a margin of 8 and 7. In all but one of the seven American wins in the event, both finalists were from the U.S.

4. The longest match in the event's history is 26 holes, played between Scott Verplank and Lee Westwood in the 2006 first round. Since then, the longest match was Rod Pampling defeating Vijay Singh in 25 holes in 2008.

5. Tiger Woods has a knack for going extra holes. Woods had 20-hole contests with Australians in consecutive years, in the third round of the '07 and '08 event.

6. Woods carries the longest winning streak in the history of this event, taking 13 straight matches from 2003 to 2005. Nick O'Hern was the man to end the run, with a 3-and-1 win in the '05 second round.

7. Only one winner this season on the PGA Tour did not qualify for the event. Sony Open champion Johnson Wagner will instead defend his title at the Mayakoba Classic. Four of six different winners on the European Tour will make it. The two exclusions are both South African – Branden Grace and Jbe Kruger.

8. Of the nine 2012 PGA and European Tour winners in the field this week, all but one are set to face another fellow winner in the second round. Aaron Baddeley would take on Steve Stricker, Brandt Snedeker would reprise his playoff with Kyle Stanley, Mark Wilson would get Robert Rock and Bill Haas would take on Paul Lawrie. Rafael Cabrera-Bello is the only player spared.

9. In the last three WGC-Accenture Match Plays, the defending champions have won a combined two matches and never escaped the second round.

10. The British Commonwealth has dominated this championship in the last four years. The English have won the last two – Luke Donald last year and Ian Poulter in '10 – with Geoff Ogilvy taking the '09 title.

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