Fantasy Island Match Play

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On the eve of last years WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship Jonathan Byrd ' normally a quiet, thoughtful type ' was asked what he made of this match-play format. Its the best, Byrd gushed. Seriously, its like 18 little Sundays. You get fired up to play every hole.
 
Match play is a potent tonic for touring professionals who, by and large, are adrenaline junkies who want the ball with the game on the line. Adding You Know Who to the mix is simply the six-pack of energy drinks the Tour has been craving for eight months.
 

2007- WGC-Accenture

 
Pick a Foursome: Conventional wisdom takes a breather Match Play week, starting with the easiest pick well make this year. For all the reasons not to pick Tiger Woods ' eight-month hiatus, rebuilt left knee, less-than-Tiger-like record in match play ' there is just one constant that tips the scale.
 
I never doubt Tiger Woods, because after all, he is Tiger Woods, swing coach Hank Haney wrote in an e-mail to GolfChannel.com.
 
Picks: A: Tiger Woods; B: Steve Stricker; C: K.J. Choi; D: Luke Donald
 
Note: One player from four categories based on the World Golf Ranking (1-10, A; 11-20, B; 21-30, C; 31-40, D). Points awarded on money earned ($1 = 1 point).
 

Salary Cap: Interesting week for the Salary Cap leagues. Stay with Woods, despite that $5.7 million price tag, and fill the team in with a dollop of promising Europeans that come at the blue-light rookie price of $250K. Young German Martin Kaymer could surprise some this week and Rory McIlroy is already looking like a future European Ryder Cup anchor.
 
Picks: Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy
 
Note: Five players with a $10 million cap based on 2008 earnings. Rookies without 2008 earnings will be priced at $250,000. Standings based on overall team earnings.
 

Pick One: Geoff Ogilvy. Keep in mind, this pick was made long before Woods ended the golf worlds collective wait last week. The Aussie has a victory (2006) and a runner-up (2007) in the Match Play, has found a good balance at home and, according to long-time swing coach Dale Lynch, is hitting the ball better than ever.
 
Note: Players must be picked before the start of the season and used only once. Standings based on total earnings.
 
This week, with the PGA Tour hosting the Mayakoba Golf Classic in conjunction with the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, our GolfChannel.com staff will be picking one player from each tournament.
 
The participants include: Brian Hewitt, GolfChannel.com Insider; Jay Coffin, Editorial Director; Mercer Baggs, Editorial Manager; Brian Koressel, Senior Producer; Dena Davis, Assistant Editor; Erik Peterson, Travel Editor; Jerry Foltz, special contributor.
 
STAFF PICKS:

NamePlayer PickReasonMoney
Rex HoggardTiger Woods/Rich BeemThe Mayakoba has a short history of going to veterans looking to redefine themselves (Fred Funk, 2007; Brian Gay, 2008); and Woods, well Haney said it best: Hes Tiger Woods.$147,957
Brian HewittPhil Mickelson/Brian GayThe rules of this league allow us to pick a player five times. For fourth week in row Im going with Lefty. Down in Mexico, I like the defending champion, Brian Gay, off to a hot start in 09.$1,429,090
Jay CoffinGeoff Ogilvy /George McNeillOgilvy has played well this year, plays well at the Match Play and is not named Tiger Woods; McNeill, with one top-10 this year, is a bit of a shot in the dark but he can go low at any time.$1,484,985
Mercer BaggsAnthony Kim/Steve MarinoThese two are as good as any, I guess. Could probably pull two names out of a hat this week.$1,296,248
Erik PetersonRobert Karlsson/David TomsThis Nicklaus design is similar to another of Jacks courses, Valhalla, where Karlsson spanked Justin Leonard in last years Ryder Cup singles. As for Toms, hes out to prove a point in Mexico.$1,101,646
Brian KoresselHenrik Stenson/Brian GayThe Ice Man will make a charge into the weekend and with the big names away at the Match Play, Gay will have even more confidence.$1,579,029
Dena DavisGeoff Ogilvy/David TomsAs the manager at Dove Mountain's 'Bashas Grocery' reminded me, this format and course just suits the former champion Ogilvy. And you do know Toms has 3 Top-25s in four starts, including a T2 at Sony, right?$423,285
Jerry FoltzPaul Casey/Steve MarinoTiger is too easy a pick and Phil only plays well when I don't pick him; Marino has finished eighth and second in Mexico the last two years.$405,146

 

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship