2012 WGC Accenture Match Play Championship
Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain – Marana, Arizona
Par 72, 7,833 yards
Wednesday, February 22-Sunday, February 26, 2012
TV: Golf Channel, NBC
Defending Champion: Luke Donald
Future odds courtesy of Bovada, head to head courtesy of Bookmaker
With college basketball’s March Madness just around the corner, golf presents their annual February Frenzy. The WGC Accenture Match Play event has become one of the biggest events of the year since its inception in 1999. Most of the world’s top 64 players are playing in this event with the notable exceptions of Phil Mickelson who is on vacation with his family and Paul Casey who is recovering from shoulder surgery. The 64 players are divided into four brackets with 16 players in each one. Each one of the brackets are named after a legendary golfer, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, and Sam Snead. Here is a look at the Jones and Hogan brackets and some of the noteworthy match-ups with odds courtesy of Bovada and Bookmaker. I will look at the Player and Snead brackets in another article. Also, here is the complete bracket.
Bobby Jones Bracket
Players: #1 Luke Donald (16/1 to win event, 10/3 to win bracket), #16 Ernie Els (100/1 e, 22/1 b), #8 Jason Dufner (80/1 e, 18/1 b), #9 Peter Hanson (80/1 e, 18/1 b), #4 K.J. Choi (66/1 e, 18/1 b), #13 Kyle Stanley (50/1 e, 12/1 b), #5 Brandt Snedeker (50/1 e, 11/1 b), #12 Retief Goosen (80/1 e, 22/1 b), #2 Adam Scott (30/1 e, 6/1 b), #15 Robert Rock (100/1 e, 28/1 b), #7 Bo Van Pelt (66/1 e, 16/1 b), #10 Mark Wilson (100/1 e, 25/1 b), #3 Dustin Johnson (25/1 e, 6/1 b), #14 Jim Furyk (50/1 e, 14/1 b), #6 Thomas Bjorn (66/1 e, 16/1 b), #11 Francesco Molinari (80/1 e, 18/1 b).
First round match-ups: Donald -215 vs Els +175, Dufner -115 vs Hanson -115, Choi -110 vs Stanley -120, Snedeker -140 vs Goosen +110, Scott -205 vs Rock +165, Van Pelt -150 vs Wilson +120, Johnson -130 vs Furyk Even, Bjorn -115 vs Molinari -115
Projections: Anything can happen in match play, but defensing champion and world #1 Luke Donald doesn’t have too difficult a draw. You never want to count a talented veteran like Els out, but Donald should be able to overcome him in the first round. Dufner and Hanson seems like a toss up. K.J. Choi could be ripe for an upset against up and coming American Kyle Stanley. In fact I will take Stanley to upset both Choi and Brandt Snedeker before facing Donald in the round of 16. Stanley has a puncher’s chance of upsetting Donald to go to the quarterfinals, but it is hard to pick against Donald who is playing so well right now.
In the other half of the bracket, Adam Scott and Dustin Johnson look to be the best but watch out for crafty veterans Bo Van Pelt, Mark Wilson, Jim Furyk, and Thomas Bjorn. Bjorn has a tough match-up with Francesco Molinari in the first round. If Johnson survives Furyk in the first round, I think he can make it to the quarterfinals against Donald.
Donald should win this bracket and go to the semifinals.
Ben Hogan Bracket
Players: #1 Martin Kaymer (22/1 event, 11/2 bracket), #16 Greg Chalmers (150/1 e, 33/1 b), #8 David Toms (100/1 e, 18/1 b), #9 Rickie Fowler (50/1 e, 14/1 b), #4 Matt Kuchar (40/1 e, 12/1 b, #13 Jonathan Byrd (80/1 e, 20/1 b), #5 Bubba Watson (33/1 e, 8/1 b), #12 Ben Crane (66/1 e, 14/1 b), #2 Steve Stricker (30/1 e, 8/1 b), #15 Kevin Na (125/1 e, 20/1 b), #7 Louis Oosthuizen (66/1 e, 14/1 b), #10 Aaron Baddeley (50/1 e, 10/1 b), #3 Graeme McDowell (50/1 e, 12/1 b), #14 Y.E. Yang (100/1 e, 20/1 b), #6 Hunter Mahan (40/1 e, 10/1 b), #11 Zach Johnson (66/1 e, 16/1 b)
First round Match-ups: Kaymer -180 vs Chalmers +150, Toms -110 vs Fowler -120, Kuchar -155 vs Byrd +125, Watson -125 vs Crane -105, Stricker -170 vs Na +140, Oosthuizen even vs Baddeley -130, McDowell -130 vs Yang even, Mahan -130 vs Johnson Even
Projections: This bracket is loaded, and probably the most wide open of the four. That makes sense because Kaymer is arguably the weakest of the four #1 seeds and should have the most difficult path to the semifinals. Seven of the sixteen players in this bracket have won major titles.
Kaymer could be in line for an upset in the second round against either Toms or Fowler. Kuchar and Watson could be a nice second round match-up if they survive tough but winnable first round matches. I like Kuchar to advance to the quarters from this half of the bracket.
It wouldn’t surprise me if all four higher seeds were upset in the bottom half of this bracket in the first round. I am not saying it will happen, just that it could. I like Baddeley and Mahan to meet in the round of 16 with Mahan advancing to the quarters.
Kuchar has a good shot of winning this bracket and advancing to the semifinals.
That is a look at the first half of the bracket, and I will look at the other two brackets in another article.