Photo Gallery

The Tour Report
file

February 18 2013

4:00 PM

Discuss: Toughest road to the final?

Tiger Woods is looking for his fourth WGC-Accenture Match Play title. (Miralle/Getty Images)

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

It's golf's version of March Madness, only it comes a month earlier and is far more unpredictable. Case in point: A 64 seed has never beaten a 1 seed in basketball. The same can't be said for the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, which begins Wednesday at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz.

But just like its basketball bracket brother, it all comes down to match-ups when breaking down who has the best chance to survive and advance (click here for a closer look at every player).

Who has the toughest road to the 18-hole final?

That's debatable, but the path for Tiger Woods, a three-time winner of this event and the No. 2 overall seed, isn't easy. Consider a few of the names potentially in his way in the Player bracket: Webb Simpson, Lee Westwood, defending champ Hunter Mahan and Thomas Bjorn. Remember, Bjorn knocked Woods out two years ago. And if Mahan's going to repeat, he's going to have to get past first-round opponent Matteo Manassero, who has won his first-round match each of the last two years.

Overall and world No. 1 Rory McIlroy doesn't have it much easier. A second-round match against Rickie Fowler would be sensational, but not easy. Charl Schwartzel, Graeme McDowell, Dustin Johnson and Zach Johnson are all in his section of the Jones draw, too.

Things are only marginally better for Louis Oosthuizen, whose Hogan bracket includes Keegan Bradley, Fredrik Jacobson, who is one of the game's best putters and rolling it well off his performance in L.A., along with Justin Rose and Bill Haas.

No. 1 seed Luke Donald? The former world No. 1 might have the easiest path, though even that could be questioned with these names: Nick Watney, Adam Scott (or fellow long putter Tim Clark) and past champion Ian Poulter joining him in the Snead bracket.

Who do you think has the toughest path to the final four? Share your thoughts below. You can print your bracket here and sign up for our Bracket Challenge here.

comments powered by Disqus