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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Some Interesting Match Play Twists to Watch

Since the Accenture starts today at 12 noon ET on GC, I've compiled a list of interesting twists you might want to watch for during the telecast today.

I mentioned yesterday that the Hogan bracket contains the Golf Boys battle between Bubba Watson and Ben Crane. Perhaps we should just call Hogan the boy band bracket because ALL 4 Golf Boys are in that bracket! But only Bubba and Ben are playing each other - Hunter Mahan plays Zach Johnson and Rickie Fowler plays David Toms. This means that we could finish the day with only one Golf Boy left. Oh oh oh...

Y.E. Yang is in the Hogan bracket, K.J. Choi is in the Jones bracket, and both Kyung-tae Kim and Sang-moon Bae are in the Player bracket. There are Koreans in every bracket except the Snead bracket... and the only Japanese player in the event, Ryo Ishikawa, is in that one.

There are only 2 Italians in the event -- Francesco Molinari in Jones and Matteo Manassero in Snead.

Three countries have only 1 golfer at Accenture. I already mentioned Ishikawa. Belgium is represented by Nicolas Colsaerts. And both of those players are in the Snead bracket. The third is Germany's Martin Kaymer, #1 seed in the Hogan bracket.

Snead also has the only 2 Scots in the event, Paul Lawrie and Martin Laird. That means that 3 countries could get wiped out in just the Snead bracket if things go wrong for them... or right for Tiger. Snead is Tiger's bracket.

Finally, although several countries have golfers in 3 brackets -- the Spaniards, English, South Africans, Australians, Koreans, and Irish -- only the US has players in all 4.

As for my picks, I'm not at all certain. This is the first year I've really believed that anybody could win it. But here are my best guesses:
  • Jones: K.J. Choi. I'm going for the upset here. I also like both Jim Furyk and Luke Donald's chances, but I think K.J.'s due.
  • Player: Sergio Garcia. A tough bracket because it's really stacked, what with previous champions Ian Poulter and Geoff Ogilvy in it. I was going to pick Ian Poulter, but I just like what I've seen from Sergio over the last few months. I didn't care for how Rory sounded during his presser; I'm not sure he's in the right frame of mind this week.
  • Hogan: Martin Kaymer. I just think the course suits him. Besides, he lost his #1 ranking here last year so he's got a score to settle.
  • Snead: Tiger Woods. Tiger's been playing well except for a couple of holes in his last few tournaments... and a couple of holes won't hurt him much in match play.
I'm expecting a Choi - Woods final... and I look for K.J. Choi to pick up his first WGC title in a close one.

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