by Jeff Skinner
This is a wonderful week if you’re a golf fan. There are three tournaments starting this week and the biggest one of all, The Accenture Match Play, starts a day early so we get an extra day of golf coverage and that’s never a bad thing.
The Match Play has a few really interesting matches right from the start. Tiger and Phil have chosen to pass on the tournament this week but that does not mean this won’t be a thrilling tournament. Here are some of the matches that could be worth following today.
Lee Westwood vs Chris Wood: Westwood is on a mission to win a major this year and he won’t be taking it easy on his fellow countryman. This field is a testament to the resurgence of English golf. There are eight Englishmen in this field.
Ernie Els vs Ryan Moore: If Ernie is the “Big Easy” than Ryan is the “Little Easy.” Ernie has found his game and Ryan is moving into the big time.
Camilo Villegas vs Dustin Johnson: Here’s a pair of really long hitters. Can Johnson go back to back?
Hunter Mahan vs Charl Schwartzel: To the uninformed this may look like a mismatch in Mahan’s favor. Forget that. Mahan hasn’t done a thing this year and Schwartzel leads the European tour in money and has two wins this year.
Martin Kaymer vs Chad Cambell: Some question Kaymer’s number one seed but they shouldn’t. He’s sixth in the world, second on the Euro tour and has a win already this year. Cambell hasn’t done anything since a T8 at The Sony.
Rory McIlroy vs Kevin Na: This may be tough for Rory, he plays fast and Na moves like a cactus grows: really slow. It is worth watching this one just for Rory.
Miguel Angel Jimenez vs Oliver Wilson: Miguel has proven that he ages like the wine he loves so much but Wilson is another of those resurgent Englishmen.
Angel Cabrerra vs Adam Scott: This could be a thriller or a dud, depending if the golfer in these guys show up.
Alvaro Quiros vs Mike Weir: No doubt Weir will be hitting first all day from like 100 yards behind Quiros.
Many of the first round matches have intriguing pairings: Paddy vs Jeev Milka, Poulter vs Leonard, Sean O’Hair vs Simon Dyson and many more. There’s always a surprise upset in the first round where a lower seed blows away a higher seed. Maybe one of those Molinari brothers can pull it off. I’ll take David Toms over Sergio and Sabbatini over Robert Karlsson just for the heck of it.