Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Mulligan: The March Madness of Golf

This week we have the pleasure of watching 5 days of head-to-head match play format. The Accenture Match Play Championship starts today and runs through Sunday. On top of that, Tiger Woods will be making his return after what seems like an eternity.

I have had several discussions and read several articles about how Tiger Woods will come out with a rusty swing and disappoint during this tournament. I beg to differ. Most of us don’t have the privilege of knowing the status of Tiger’s knee, or if he really is ready to come back. There are a few things that I am sure of, however, regarding the greatest player to ever live.

First, Tiger Woods is not the type of player to sit around playing Tiger Woods Golf on his Xbox 360. He is not the type of player to even think about allowing the competition to gain an edge on him. Tiger was unable to really swing a club normally for quite some time after his surgery, and many assume that he let his game atrophy. A more likely scenario is that Tiger was on the putting green, perfecting every detail of his game that didn’t strain his knee. This could mean that Tiger’s already ridiculous short game has significantly improved. This is a scary thought if you are Brendan Jones, Tiger’s first round opponent. Good luck Brendan, you are going to need it.

Second, Tiger missed only 1 fairway in his practice round on Tuesday. I think this fact alone defeats any arguments about a “rusty swing.” (On a side note, I once played a round of golf where I missed only 1 fairway. It was a Par 3 Course that had one par 4 at the end which was the only hole with a fairway).

Finally, Tiger has won 3 of these tournaments before (along with every other award known to man including the Nobel Golf Prize and Global Miniature Golf Championship). I mean come on. IT’S TIGER. Don’t bet against him.

Okay, so the way this tournament works is similar to the NCAA Tournament Bracket. You can view the matchups here. There are 4 small brackets and the winners of each bracket comprise the “Final Four.” Here are my picks in each bracket followed by my pick to win, which may be obvious by this point.

The Bobby Jones Bracket: Tiger Woods. There is tough competition here with Retief Goosen and Geoff Ogilvy. Rory McIlroy could be a sleeper in this bracket.

The Sam Snead Bracket: Henrik Stenson. He will have to get by a seasoned vet in Davis Love III in Round 1, and he has Padraig Harrington to worry about in later rounds.

The Ben Hogan Bracket: This is the bracket of the Johnsons. Take your pick between Zach or Dustin in this bracket although both have tough first round draws.

The Gary Player Bracket: Paul Casey. In this bracket lies my UPSET ALERT pick...Matt Goggin over Kenny Perry in the opening round.

The Winner: Tiger Woods - Your 2009 Accenture Match Play Champion

[Remember to check back each and every Wednesday at 1pm for another edition of "The Mulligan" - always packed with PGA tournament previews and fantasy golf picks you won't find anywhere else.]

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Adam said...

I disagree with you Stanley. I was playing Tiger Woods Golf online vs Tiger a few months ago. We had a few laughs and i actually beat him a couple of times. Hes washed up lol

Chris Stanley said...

Well, given they way he played against Clark yesterday I beleive you. If it isnt too late to change my pick, I want to switch to any player wearing a Cobra hat.