Match Play Mayhem

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Tigers gone and Im reminded of what 1999 finalist Andrew Magee said to me when I asked him last week if he was at all put off by the widespread disappointment that Tiger and Duval had not made the title match the year he lost to Jeff Maggert. I dont give a (bleep) about Tiger and Duval, he snapped with just a tinge of a smile. They didnt bring their 'A' games and we did. Thats the beauty of match play.
 
Beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder, and the rights holder in this case is ESPN/ABC. The possibility of a Lowery/Triplett final or some other variation of journeymen tells you all you need to know as to why the networks will never approve more than one major match play event in a years time. And with the 36-hole Sunday tussle slated to run up against the last day of the Winter Games, the ratings here figure to be miniscule. So what. Its frankly a little tiresome living in a world governed by a rating point and the presence of Tiger Woods. Magees got it right.
 
Meanwhile, up and down the range, these eyes and ears picked up a few other interesting tidbits.
 
Monty, who was heckled on the 14th hole, reportedly uttered this gem after falling to Scott McCarron, Theres only one thing worse than losing and thats staying in this country another ****ing second.
 
Im easily impressed because lately my game stinks, but watching Shingo Katayama on the practice tee pop one perfect drive after another left-handed blew me away. Asked how the cowboy hat was selling in Japan, he said, Million seller.
 
Tom Lehman and wife Melissa just finished building their new house in the Scottsdale area. Lehman was serious when he told us that if he wasnt golfing hed be a landscaper. Whether its on a golf course or in the garden, Tom enjoys just puttering around.
 
Shared a hunch with John Cook that Brad Faxons going to win a major within the next two years and Cookie emphatically agreed.
 
Matt Gogel told me his seven-month old baby, Kimball, is sleeping almost 18 hours a day. No wonder his golfs been so good of late.
 
Mark Calcavecchia drove to The Match Play from his home in Phoenix with his beloved 16-pound bowling ball in the back of his SUV. Calcs always ready to roll, and revealed that if lane conditions are right, he can easily rip off a 700 series. Calcs one of the five best interviews in the game, a real character who puts on no airs and sugarcoats nothing.
 
Finally, I was having breakfast Wednesday when a bird landed near my bagel. I could swear I heard it say that Tiger would be playing at Doral.