Woods & Campbell
to meet in Matchplay Championship
Tiger Woods, No. 1 in the
world, will have to play one of the hottest players in the world next week in
the first round of the Andersen Consulting Matchplay Championship.
Woods will face Michael
Campbell of New Zealand, who has won three of his last four tournaments and is
one of only two players to beat Woods since August.
The field for the $5 million
World Golf Championship event, which starts Feb. 23 at La Costa Spa and Resort
in Carlsbad, Calif., was determined tonday with the release of the latest Official
World Golf Ranking.
Campbell qualified for Match
Play by winning the Australian Masters on Sunday, which moved him from No. 67
to No. 65 in the World Ranking. The top 65 made it because Jumbo Ozaki, ranked
No. 36, decided not to play for the second straight year.
Defending champion Jeff
Maggert, who won the inaugural WGC event with a chip-in for birdie at the 38th
hole, is ranked No. 20 and will meet Bob Tway in the first round.
No. 2 David Duval meets
Argentina's Angel Cabrera, No. 3 Colin Montgomerie faces Dennis Paulson, and
No. 4 Davis Love III will oppose Olin Browne.
A year ago, five of the
top 10 seeds were eliminated in the first round, and all but Woods were gone
by the second round. Maggert defeated Woods in the quarterfinals.
Woods, the only player ever
to win three straight U.S. Amateur titles, will have a marquee matchup in the
first round for the second straight year. He played Nick Faldo last year and
won 4 and 3.
While Woods's six-tournament
PGA Tour winning streak was stopped Sunday by Phil Mickelson at Buick Invitational,
he also failed to win one other tournament since August -- the Johnnie Walker
Classic in Taiwan in November, won by Campbell. Woods finished sixth.
Campbell followed with victories
in the New Zealand Open and the Heineken Classic. The Australian Masters victory
made him the first player since Greg Norman in 1988 to win four times in a season
on the Australasian circuit.
Campbell first gained notoriety
by nearly winning the British Open at St. Andrews in 1995, taking the 54-hole
lead before finishing in a tie for third. He injured a wrist a year later.
"The last few months have
been incredible," Campbell said Sunday. "There has been a huge turnaround in
my life and my golf. I feel at ease with golf. I feel like I am ready to take
on the best in the world."
That's what he gets with
Woods, who will be a huge favorite to win the $1 million prize in the Andersen
Consulting Match Play Championship.
Woods has won 10 of his
last 15 official tournaments around the world, beginning with his victory in
a European Tour event in Germany last May.
Mickelson moved up to No.
9 in the World Ranking and will play Phoenix neighbor Billy Mayfair in the first
round. A showdown with Woods looms in the quarterfinals if they both get through
the first three rounds.
Other first-round matchups
include Norman against Mark O'Meara and Ernie Els against Bernhard Langer.