Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Accenture Match Play - Gary Player Bracket Preview

This bracket and the Sam Snead bracket are filled with great pairings. There should be a lot of explosive matches, and a greater possibility for upsets.

Match 31
#1 Sergio Garcia SPA vs. #16 Charl Schwartzel SAF
The top European player versus the South African who is ranked 15th on the Euro Order of Merit.
Schwartzel has one of the best names in the brackets, but Sergio's got too much game.
Not too much for me to look at here. That probably means Serge will get the boot but good in his first match.

Outcome: Garcia 4 AND 3

Match 32
#8 Ian Poulter ENG vs. #9 Jeev-Milka Singh IND

Poulter had a great Ryder Cup last year after contending for the British Open. Singh finds himself in contention all the time. It's difficult to watch Jeev's swing, which isn't the most beautiful thing on the planet, but he always seems to get the job done with what he's got to work with.
I'm going to take the minor upset here.

Outcome: Singh 1 UP

Match 23
#3 Justin Rose ENG vs. #13 Boo Weekley USA

BOOOOOO! As long as he 'rides the pony' galloping down from the first tee I'll be happy, no matter the outcome of the match.
Rose has yet to live up to his potential as one of the most well rounded and solid players in the world. Boo can win any given week, and the confidence he gained from last year's uber match play experience at the Ryder Cup is invaluable.
I'll take Boo on US soil, and see if he can make some more noise in match play.

Outcome: Weekley, 2 AND 1

Match 24
#5 Adam Scott AUS vs. #12 Sean O'Hair USA

A great match-up. The seemingly all-world Scott, who still hasn't lived up to his billing even after taking The Players in 2004, which still seems like yesterday, against another run of the mill solid US player in O'Hair.
I think this boils down again to someone who has too many tools at his disposal, even though O'Hair will put up a game fight. He's another bulldog like Zach Johnson, but he may be a little outclassed here.

Outcome: Scott 2 AND 1

Match 15
#2 Robert Karlsson SWE vs. #15 Peter Hanson SWE

Ladies and Gentlemen of the United States, meet Mr. Robert Karlsson.
After a clinical display of clutchness in last year's Ryder Cup, Robert Karlsson will look to continue his rise in world consciousness by taking the match play format and doing what he does best - play like one of the best players in the world.
He and Rory McIlroy are the two Euro players I expect to separate themselves from the pack to chase Sergio, and this could be the stage to do it.
Hanson is 10th on the European Order of Merit this year, and this may be a closer match than I envision, but Karlsson is just too good.

Outcome: Karlsson 4 AND 3

Match 16
#7 Alvaro Quiros SPA vs. #10 Stephen Ames CAN

Alvaro WHO? I'm not trying to be sarcastic here, but I truly have NEVER heard of the man who won already this year at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters and sits at 6th place on the European Order of Merit.
I have heard of Stephen Ames, though, the man that Tiger took behind the woodshed a few years ago and came back to just miss making the finals in this event 3 years ago.
I'm going to throw out form in this match and go with experience. Ames has too much of it as another journeyman like Kevin Sutherland. Ames just got fortunate enough to draw the better matchup.

Outcome: Ames 1 UP

Match 7
#3 Kenny Perry USA vs. #14 Matthew Goggin AUS

This may have been the most difficult match-up for me to pick. Why? I have no idea. It just seems rife for an upset.
Yes, Kenny Perry is solid. He's a great ball striker and putter. But Goggin is a fine player, and this is a match-up that absolutely has upset written all over it.
Sigh, a little research can change things. Goggin has missed two cuts this year, including last week's Northern Trust Open (I still hate that name) and Kenny has two things going for him - experience AND form. He's also got a win to his credit already this year.

Outcome: Perry 3 AND 2

Match 8
#6 Paul Casey ENG vs. #11 Aaron Baddeley AUS

One of the best ten matchups of the day, and quite possibly the best. Two young guns, but not just gunners.
These are two of the best young players in the world, and they're going to beat each other up. Casey, with a little more power and great ball striking prowess is going to face the equally solid Baddeley who can counter-punch with a golden putting stroke.
I'd be better tossing a coin in the air to pick this one. Needless to say, I'm quite possibly going to enjoy watching this match the most of the first round matches.

Outcome: Baddeley 20 holes

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