Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bracketology: WGC-Match Play

Let’s start with a correction: From the post on Friday, February 20th, the WGC Match Play will not be at The Gallery this year, but at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club. Same area, different course altogether.

For those that are itchy to fill out a bracket for March Madness, perhaps you can be soothed by filling one out for this week’s Match Play event in Tucson, Arizona, where 64 of the world’s best golfers will battle head to head.

We have our Final Four picks already:

Jones Division Champion: Mike Weir (over Camilo Villegas) – It’s an upset special in the sweet 16 over Tiger Woods (defending champion). Weir’s record in match play is nothing special (13 matches, 6 wins-7 losses), but his putting skills (currently T9 in Putts/GIR) will put pressure on his opponents and his ability to scramble may halve (tie) some holes for him.

Hogan Division Champion: Steve Stricker (over Stewart Cink) – Stricker (11 matches, 7-4) won this event in 2001. He may have the hardest route of all the players in the field. After a missed cut to start the season at the FBR, he’s improved each week he played since (2nd @ NT Open, T3 @ AT&T Pebble Beach).

Player Division Champion: Kenny Perry (over Justin Rose) – A real longshot amongst the rest of the field (9 matches, 3-6), Perry is still the Tour’s leading money winner and at 49 years old, that still counts for something. He’ll show the youngins’ a thing or two.

Snead Division Champion: Anthony Kim (over Jim Furyk) – Based on his success last year at the Ryder Cup, Anthony Kim gets to prove again that he’s a player who can handle the pressure situations. His Birdie average (5.00/round – 2nd on Tour) will help him win holes and his Sand Saves (83.33% - 1st on Tour) will prevent him from losing them.

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