Six Australian golfers are in the 64-man field to contest this week’s WGC Accenture Match Play Championship.
The world’s best golfers take to the cacti-laden terrain of the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Arizona this week to contest the WGC Accenture World Match Play Championship. It is one of the few times you get to watch match play golf and is subsequently one of my favourite tournaments to watch.
Six Aussie golfers are in the field this week courtesy of sitting inside the world’s top-64 ranked golfers. All six are fairly well spread out across the four brackets and if they are lucky enough to progress, only Jason Day and John Senden will match up against each other early in the tournament.
It is reasonable to expect a good showing from the Aussies too. They have always faired reasonably well in this event with Geoff Ogilvy winning the event twice (runner-up once), and Nick O’Hern and Peter O’Malley both scored major upset victories over Tiger Woods in years gone by.
Let’s take a look at the first six matches featuring the Aussies in 2012. The first tee times will be early Thursday morning, Australian time. (See here for WGC Accenture Match Play Australian TV times).
Geoff Ogilvy v Keegan Bradley
Ogilvy (and moustache) will be up against the belly-putting, loogie spitting Keegan Bradley in the first round. Ogilvy is not in great form at the moment but he is a great match play golfer under any circumstances and has won this event twice, in 2006 and 2009.
Keegan Bradley is in great touch right now and narrowly missed a win last week in California. Bradley copped a lot of criticism on Twitter last week due to incessant spitting but soon apologised for the nasty habit. It will be interesting to see whether he can curb the nasty habit. It’s a case for Geoff Ogilvy to make a claim for casual water if he can’t.
Prediction: Bradley 2up
Jason Day v Rafael Cabrera-Bello
Day has a tough opponent first up against Spaniard, Cabrero-Bello. He won the Dubai Desert Classic two weeks ago which propelled him up the world golf rankings for a spot in the field at Arizona. Day is a little fighter when it comes to match play golf. This golf course suits him well and it will be a shock to see him lose in the first round.
Prediction: Day 2up
John Senden v Simon Dyson
John Senden has been the best performing Australian golfer for many months now and he must be liking his chances against Englishman Simon Dyson.
Both golfers have contrasting styles. Dyson is often erratic but can string a bunch of birdies together when hot. Senden has been wonderfully consistent over the past year and will be keen to show that he should have taken a spot in last year’s Presidents Cup in Melbourne.
Prediction: Senden 1up
Adam Scott v Robert Rock
Adam Scott has only the one tournament under his belt this year but played some decent golf at last week’s Northern Trust Open. He finished in a tie for 17th hitting plenty of greens in regulation.
The lego-haired Rock jumped into the field by edging out Tiger Woods to win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship a few weeks ago. He has great form but I’m not sure he can match it with Adam Scott in this format.
Prediction: Scott 2up
Aaron Baddeley v Louis Oosthiuzen
Baddeley played a great final round last week which will raise his confidence going into his match against Louis Oosthuizen. It was the first sign of some decent golf from Badds who thrives on confidence.
I always thought Oosthuizen was stiff not to be selected in the Presidents Cup, and could be out to make a point against Badds.
Prediction: Oosthuizen 3up
Greg Chalmers v Martin Kaymer
Up until a few weeks ago, I would have given Greg Chalmers a fair chance against Kaymer, but now I’m not so sure. Chalmers missed the cut in California with big scores, and Kaymer has had a 9th and 11th place finish since the start of February.
Form doesn’t always count for a lot in this format and Chalmers has shown the big occasion doesn’t worry him. But I think Kaymer has too much experience in this one.
Prediction: Kaymer 2up
The full draw is available through the WGC Accenture Match Play website.