PGA Tour Expert Picks: Match Play Championship
Pretty much everyone outside of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Adam Scott will be competing for the Match Play Championship this week in Arizona.
The California swing is finally over and before we head to Florida there's a week-long pit stop in the desert for some match play. Let's do a Q&A on this week's event.
What is it?
The Match Play Championship is the only non-stroke play event of the season on the PGA Tour. It's also one of four WGC (World Golf Championship) events on the season.
Where is it?
The Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz.
Didn't it snow there last year?
It did, it was one of the more bizarre moments of the season. Rickie Fowler even instigated a snowball fight.
When is it?
February 19 - February 23, 2014
Wait, five days?
Yep, we get bonus Wednesday golf this week in one of the sneaky great days on tour all year with 32 matches to kick off the tournament.
What is the rest of the schedule?
There are 16 matches on Thursday, eight on Friday, four on Saturday, and then the semifinals and finals (plus consolation match) on Sunday. A loaded week.
What is the purse?
How can I watch it?
Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 22-23 -- 2-6 PM
Wednesday, Feb. 19 -- 12-6 PM on Golf Channel
Thursday and Friday, Feb. 20-21 -- 2-6 PM on Golf Channel
Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 22-23 -- 12-2 PM on Golf Channel and 2-6 PM on CBS
All times Eastern
Everyone in the top 67 in the world besides Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Adam Scott. It's the best field of the year so far and it's not even close.
Where is Tiger?
Prepping for the Honda Classic, apparently. He did say this about match play tournaments:
Tiger Woods was asked early in his career the difference between match play as an amateur and as a pro."The field." #true— Doug Ferguson (@dougferguson405) February 18, 2014
What about Phil
His kids are on spring break this week so he bowed out.
Who are the former champions?
2013 -- Matt Kuchar
2012 -- Hunter Mahan
2011 -- Luke Donald
2010 -- Ian Poulter
2009 -- Geoff Ogilvy
So who are you picking?
Rory McIlroy (12-1) -- I don't usually pick the outright favorite but I've pushed all my chips to the middle of the table with McIlroy. He finished second here two years ago and I think he's on the verge of a truly great season.
Ben Hogan Bracket
Rory McIlroy -- See above. He could have already posted two wins on the year in Europe. Just needs to close and he'll figure it out this week.
Gary Player Bracket
Jordan Spieth -- The biggest landmine in his bracket is Kuchar, who is the defending champ. I think he can get past him though as well as a still-recovering-from-injury Justin Rose.
Bobby Jones Bracket
Jason Day -- I think he has one of the easier brackets to navigate and Day finished third at this tournament last season.
Sam Snead Bracket
Hunter Mahan (22-1) -- Mahan won it two years ago and finished second last season and he already has two top 10s this season. 22-1 is a good number for him.
Scott Stallings (125-1) -- Tough road to hoe for Stalling with a possible Dufner-Donald-Rose-Spieth (or Kuchar) first four rounds but 125-1 is worth the risk. He's undervalued as a golfer because he's not a sexy name. For example: I've seen no evidence of Rickie Fowler playing better golf than him of late and yet Fowler is listed at 80-1 becuase he's Fowler.
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