Tag Archives: 2017 WGC-Match Play Championship

Mar
26
2017

For as long as I’ve been covering golf — I mean, literally, the first tournament I covered was the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach — one of the story lines seems to have always loomed: Imagine if Dustin Johnson [fill in the blank]. Where do we start? Practiced his wedge game? Prepared better? Read the rules? Better caddie? Stopped partying? Stronger mental game? Stayed patient? Blah, blah blah. The list continues, but that shouldn’t be interpreted as a negative or insult; rather it was always a testament to the indisputable fact DJ was so talented.

Despite some pretty major heartbreaking blips from 2010 at Pebble Beach to Whistling Straits at the 2010 PGA Championship to the 2011 British Open to the 2015 U.S. Open, there’s never been a doubt DJ would eventually overcome these excruciating letdowns. And two of those were seriously devastating mistakes that happened on the 72nd hole, which could have been devastating on a level to an average pro’s psyche. DJ always said he never let them really bring him down and brushed them off. With each incident, DJ showed resiliency to continue put himself in the position to clinch the win…or fail.

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Mar
22
2017

jason day mom cancer

Jason Day conceded his match to Pat Perez after six holes and then withdrew from the WGC-Match Play at Austin Country Club. In an emotional press conference, he revealed that his mother Denning Day has lung cancer — the initial diagnosis from doctors in Australia was that it was terminal and she was given 12 months to live. Shortly after, Day brought her to Ohio to receive treatment and the prognosis from doctors is now more promising. She is scheduled for surgery on Friday as doctors try to remove a three-to-four centimeter mass from her lungs.

Wow, I’m a bit at loss for words and this (video below) was extremely difficult to watch in person. I’m fairly certain many people can relate to seeing a loved one battle cancer — and regardless of the outcome or the severity, it’s still very emotional and scary. Day didn’t need to come into the interview room and hold a press conference to divulge the status of his mother’s health on national television.

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Mar
22
2017

Starting in 2015 at the WGC-Match Play event at Harding Park — an unforgettable week as you may recall! — the format of the tournament changed. Of course it’s still match play and it’s only been in effect for two years, so it’s not really a great sample size to judge, especially since I wasn’t able to catch much of the coverage. In all honestly, I don’t have a good feel for the new round-robin format and I don’t like not knowing or experiencing firsthand the positives and negatives resulting from the somewhat significant changes since 2014.

What I can say with utmost confidence, though, is that Wednesday — the first day of the matches — used to be one of my favorite days of the season (and definitely the most exciting one all year at a non-major, hands down). It was always action-packed, filled with tons of dramas, massive upsets, riveting comebacks, twists and turns that was nonstop from start to end. Which was largely because it was truly golf’s version of the NCAA’s March Madness, a single-round elimination knock-out format. Lose the first match and you might be headed for first-available private jet out of Austin (or Tucson, the longtime venue of the event pre-2015), before the no. 1 seeded player had even teed off.

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