The Match Play Championship combines two of my favorite things every season: golf and brackets.
Sure, the actual event is usually a bit of a letdown (especially without Tiger Woods) but I have to admit I get a little giddy with those first 32 matches in the queue on Wednesday.
Here's a closer look at each bracket and my picks.
Bobby Jones Bracket
Favorite: Jason Day (4-1)
Sleeper: David Lynn (28-1)
Wild card: Brandt Snedeker (10-1)
Best potential matchup: Jason Day vs. Steve Stricker (third round)
An interesting bracket, but not really a loaded one. Snedeker has been playing poorly of late and No. 1 seed Henrik Stenson hasn't exactly conjured up memories of 2013 yet. This will be Steve Stricker's first tournament of the season and he'll have to navigate a George Coetzee-Graham DeLaet-Patrick pod which is no easy task.
Finals: Nick Watney vs. Jason Day
Ben Hogan Bracket
Favorite: Rory McIlroy (7-2)
Sleeper: Miguel Angel Jimenez (25-1)
Wild card: Ian Poulter (8-1)
Best potential matchup: Sergio Garcia vs. Ian Poulter (third round)
Bet against Poulter in match play at your own risk. This bracket is just loaded with ridiculous ball strikers. Boo Weekley, Harris English, Lee Westwood, Charl Schwartzel, Sergio Garcia, and McIlroy. That's insane. I feel like Garcia will either lose in the first round or win the whole thing. Same for McIlroy.
Finals: Ian Poulter vs. Rory McIlroy
Gary Player Bracket
Favorite: Jordan Spieth (9-2)
Sleeper: Scott Stallings (20-1)
Wild card: Justin Rose (5-1)
Best potential matchup: Jordan Spieth vs. Matt Kuchar (third round)
It's weird to call the No. 1 seed a wild card but I'm not totally convinced Rose has knocked the rust off after an offseason recovery fron his shoulder injury. This seems like the most wide open of the four brackets which is why I'm going with the youngster.
Finals: Justin Rose vs. Jordan Spieth
Sam Snead Bracket
Favorite: Dustin Johnson (4-1)
Sleeper: Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (28-1)
Wild card: Hideki Matsuyama (12-1)
Best potential matchup: Hunter Mahan vs. Zach Johnson (third round)
This bracket has two of the better potential Sweet 16 matchups on tap. You could have either Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson repeating their dual from Riviera or Dustin Johnson and Keegan Bradley. And at the top of the bracket you could have either Zach Johnson facing Hunter Mahan or Johnson facing Graeme McDowell.
All of this just means we'll get Kevin Streelman vs. Martin Kaymer in the finals.
Finals: Dustin Johnson vs. Hunter Mahan
Hunter Mahan vs. Jordan Spieth
Rory McIlroy vs. Jason Day
This would be a killer semifinals for Saturday. I'll take my chances with a repeat finals from two years ago between Mahan and McIlroy with McIlroy exacting revenge in the end.
Winner: Rory McIlroy