Preview of the first round matches for the Aussies in the field
Robert Allenby v Ross Fisher (England)
Allenby has got to be liking this first up match given his recent form. Gone is the claw grip and his old putting style has returned to good effect. Fisher has been steady so far this year without shooting the lights out. Allenby to win this one.
Geoff Ogilvy v Padraig Harrington (Ireland)
This is another good match up for the Aussies. Ogilvy is a great match play golfer and has won this event twice (see Ogilvy wins Accenture Match Play). His form has been patchy after recovering from the finger injury but it hasn’t been as bad as Padraig’s who is struggling with a new swing change. Never underestimate Harrington head to head but Ogilvy should get the job done here.
Adam Scott v Ben Crane (USA)
Adam Scott has been doing a load of charity work in Australia and hasn’t played competitive golf for over a month. This could be a problem against Ben Crane who has continued last year’s good form with three from three Top-25 finishes. I’ve got a bad feeling about this match.
Brendan Jones v Phil Mickelson (USA)
Speaking of bad feelings, Brendan Jones might have a few here. He hasn’t played tournament golf since the Japan Tour finished in early December and has played only a few social games with his mates in Canberra. He drew Tiger Woods in a match a few years ago and lost 3&2. I’m not so sure he will have much luck against Mickelson who has already played some magic golf this year.
Jason Day v K.T. Kim (South Korea)
I really have no idea about this match-up. For two reasons. One, I don’t know much about Kim other than he was the first Korean born player to lead the Japanese Tour prize money in 2010. And two, Jason Day’s golf at the Northern Trust Open last week was dire. It was unusual considering how well he played well in Hawaii. Both players are on debut in this event. Toss the coin on this one and let’s home Day wins it.
Richard Green v Paul Casey (England)
Greeny has also played some patchy golf this season on the European Tour. He played well late in 2010 but hasn’t quite captured the form that saw him win in Portugal in October. On the other hand, Casey has been brilliant and will be tough for Green to beat.