The 2012 World Golf Championship series fires up this week with the Accenture Match Play Championship starting Wednesday in the desert at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain in Arizona. 64 of the world’s best players including 6 Australias spread over 4 brackets will shoot out for $8.5 Million USD with a winners purse of $1.4 million USD.
The Australia contingent is made up of Adam Scott, Greg Chalmers, Aaron Baddeley, Geoff Ogilvy, Jason Day and John Senden.
Adam Scott in the Bobby Jones bracket, who is coming off a steady T11 at Riveria, will face off Englishman Robert Rock who stared down Tiger Woods on the final day to win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Greg Chalmers, the first of two Australians in the Ben Hogan bracket will take on German, Martin Kaymer. Aaron Baddeley (Hogan Bracket) will be looking to carry on his solid form from Riveria when he tees off against South African and 2010 British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen.
The final three Aussies all play in the Gary Player bracket with Victorian and 2009 event winner Geoff Ogilvey hoping to rain on the parade of Keegan Bradley who will be looking to go one better after his playoff loss to Bill Haas last weekend in California. No doubt Jason Day was disappointed with his first performance on US soil for 2012 last weekend, but Beaudesert’s favorite son will be out to show he’s one of the world’s best when lines up against R.C Bello of Spain on Wednesday morning USA time. Queenslander John Senden wraps up the Australian lineup in match 16 against another Englishman and two-time European tour winner in 2010 Simon Dyson.
The Accenture Match Play Championship is a five day event played at the longest course on the PGA Tour, totalling 7791 yards and is made up of the top 64 players according to the World Golf Ranking as of February 12th 2012.
Other Notable matches to start the first round on Wednesday include World Number One and 2011 winner Luke Donald who will play against veteran South African Ernie Els. Korean Superstar and ex powerlifter K.J. Choi plays the Waste Management Phoenix Open and current Fedex Cup leader Kyle Stanley. Tiger Woods will be looking for his first win of 2012 with a match against G. Fdez-Castano of Spain and Northern Trust Open and 2010 Fedex Cup winner Bill Haas plays the Japanese pin up boy Ryo Ishikawa. The man who Greg Norman labelled as possibly the best match player in the world and who single handedly started the international comeback on the final day of the 2011 Presidents Cup, K.T. Kim takes on Anders Hansen of Denmark. Finally, Rory McIroy flies into Arizona for his first start on US soil for 2012 to play South African George Coetzee. Phil Mickelson has chosen to opt out of the event due to a family vacation.
Also on the PGA Tour calendar this week is the Mayakoba Golf Classic from El Camaleon, Mexico. Australia has eight starters Steven Bowditch, Jarrod Lyle, Matt Jones, Nathan Green, Robert Allenby, Gavin Coles, Peter Lonard and the Great White shark himself, Greg Norman playing on his self designed course, just south of Cancun.