It’s just about that time again! — golf’s answer to or closest version of March Madness: the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship takes place in Tucson, Arizona, next week. Wednesday — with the 32 first round matches — is one of the most compelling days of the season.
This year’s field has been finalized, as the deadline to enter was Friday at 5pm ET. Since the seeding and brackets are determined by the player’s Official World Ranking, they will be revealed on Sunday evening after the conclusion of the Northern Trust Open (when the latest OWGR standings are determined based on finishes at Riviera this week).
For example, Fredrik Jacobson is currently ranked No. 64, so if the seeding/brackets were based on this week’s OWGR standings, he’d would face the world No. 1 Rory McIlroy (which could potentially be a fun battle). However, Jacobson is faring well at Riviera at the moment. In fact, he’s atop the leaderboard, with four holes left to play in the second round. If he keeps up his fine form through the weekend, then he’d obviously move up in the rankings.
Four of the top-five in the world have committed — Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Luke Donald and Justin Rose. Who’s missing? Brandt Snedeker, who climbed to No. 4 after last week’s impressive victory at Pebble Beach, withdrew on Tuesday due to sore left ribs. Which is unfortunate since he’s arguably the hottest player and putter on Tour at the moment.
Per usual, Phil Mickelson will not be playing at the event, as it conflicts with a family vacation.
Here’s the field:
From the Tour’s media blast: “If a player withdraws after the brackets are released, the next player on the alternate list takes his place in the bracket. The next three players in the Official World Golf Ranking (as of February 11) are: Bernd Wiesberger (No. 67; AUT); Anders Hansen (No. 69, DEN); Scott Jamieson (No. 70, SCO). Spain’s Miguel A. Jimenez (No. 68) is recovering from a broken leg.”
Stay tuned for the brackets — we’ll have them posted as quickly as humanly possible when they’re finalized on Sunday.