The Byron Nelson Plus Some Match Play This Week

by Jeff Skinner

The PGA Tour moves on to Texas to honor one of the great gentlemen of the game at The HP Byron Nelson Championship.  Players Champion Matt Kuchar will try to stay on cloud nine as he makes his way along the TPC Four Seasons Resort course against a field that includes Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Adam Scott and defending champion Keegan Bradley.

While the PGA continues its standard medal play we’ll get to see plenty of match play this week as The LPGA and The European Tours switch up their formats.

The LPGA’s Sybase Match Play Championship is a standard 64 player field that includes seven of the world’s top ten golfers.  Rolex Rankings number 3, Suzann Pettersen is back to defend her 2011 title against the likes of number one Yani Tseng, Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis and Paula Creamer.  Michelle Wie is in the field and will try once again to get her game under control.  Perhaps the biggest draw in American golf right now won’t be teeing it up in New Jersey.  Seventeen year old Lexi Thompson is home attending her high school prom.  It’s a wonderful choice for her after all you only young once.

The European Tour is back in Spain for the Volvo World Match Play Championship and it features a modified match play format.  The 24 man filed includes Martin Kaymer, Charl Schwartzel, Darren Clarke, Justin Rose, Retief Goosen, Graeme McDowell, Sergio Garcia and defending champion Ian Poulter.  Brandt Snedeker is the lone American in the field.

Here’s an explanation of the format.  The field of 24 players will be drawn into eight groups of three. Group matches will be played on Thursday and Friday. The top two players in each group will progress to the knock-out stages consisting of the last 16 and quarter-finals, played on Saturday and semi-finals and final, played on Sunday.

It’s a bit of round robin to start and then a standard match play.  Sounds like it may be easier just to check the leaderboard on European Tour.com


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