PGA Golf

2013 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship Preview/Picks

PGA Betting – WCG Accenture Match Play Championship

The 2013 Accenture World Golf Championship Match Play comes our way this week from Arizona where 64 of the top 66 golfers on the planet are scheduled to participate in one of the more unique stops on TOUR – Phil Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker being the only obvious omissions.

2013 Accenture World Golf Championship Match Play
Location: Marana, Arizona, United States
Course: Dove Mountain Golf Club
Date: Feb 20-24, 2013
Total Purse: US $ 8,500,000
Winner’s Share: US $ 1,400,000 (16% of total purse)

Defending Champion: Hunter Mahan ($1,400,000)

The Dove Mountain Golf Club itself is long – big hitters will certainly have a bit of an advantage this week. But the talent is deep and any one of the 64 could easily emerge victorious.

This event is one of the more difficult to predict – the 64 entries are divided into four brackets meaning that studs in each bracket may be forced to play each other early on with one of those two players being eliminated. For this week in my Rankings, I will concentrate on the brackets – who should emerge – and which golfer will be crowned champion at the end of the week.

Rory McIlroy – No. 1 seed in the Bobby Jones Bracket; faces Shane Lowry in the first round. Others in the Division includes the last two Masters champions, second-seeded Bubba Watson and third-seeded Charl Schwartzel. Also in that part of the field are former major champions Zach Johnson, Jim Furyk, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell, as well as Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler.

I like the defending runner-up in this tournament Rory McIlroy at 12/1 here. The world’s #1 averaged 310 yards per drive last season, good for fifth on the tour, combined with a No. 2 ranking in approach accuracy from 200-plus. He plays for the first time in North America and is coming off a missed cut in Abu Dhabi last time out – he has a lot to prove this week.

Tiger Woods – No. 1 seed in the Gary Player Bracket; faces Charles Howell III in first round. Woods’s bracket includes Lee Westwood, the second seed, and third-seeded Jason Dufner. Woods, a three-time winner of this event, also has defending champion Hunter Mahan, reigning U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson and former PGA Champion and 2011 runner-up at this event Martin Kaymer in his bracket.

It’s gotta be the favorite Tiger Woods at 10/1 in this bracket that gets it done – he showed at Torrey Pines that he is in peak form. And his bracket – it’s OK but certainly do-able with nobody outside of Mahan on top of his game. Woods is a beast and should feast on the length of this track.

Luke Donald – No. 1 seed in the Sam Snead Bracket; faces Marcel Siem in the first round. Along with Donald, the Snead bracket includes former major champions Paul Lawrie and David Toms, who won this title in 2005. Ian Poulter (2010), Steve Stricker (2001) and Henrik Stenson (2007) all have won this title and are in the Snead bracket along with Adam Scott and Nick Watney. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

I don’t like Luke Donald here. Remember Ian Poulter in the Ryder Cup? He was arguably the best player that week in a similar format. I like Poulter at 16/1 to cement his status as one of the best Match Play players on the planet. He had a win in 2010 on this course to boot!

Louis Oosthuizen – No. 1 seed in the Ben Hogan Bracket; faces Richie Ramsay in the first round. In Oosthuizen’s region are No. 2 seed Justin Rose and third-seeded Sergio Garcia. Major champions Ernie Els and Keegan Bradley are also in the Hogan region as are Branden Grace, who won four times on the European Tour last year, Matt Kuchar and Bill Haas.

In this bracket I like Justin Rose at 25/1 to build on his experience at last year’s Ryder Cup. He tied for second at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and has stayed hot now for months contending at big events, including a T3 at the PGA Championship and T5 at the Bridgestone Invitational last year. The dude has a knack of elevating his game and getting it done on the biggest stages.

That sets up a Final four of McIlroy, Woods, Poulter and Justin Rose.

Take Tiger Woods at 10/1 to defeat Justin Rose at 25/1 for his fourth Accenture World Golf Championship Match Play