About Us Contact Us Advertise Newsletter

Golf news, golf reports, golf headlines, golf updates,golf features

Golf Today > News Archive > 2008 Archive >


Henrik Stenson set for Accenture Match Play defence

Upsets are likely to dominate the agenda at this week's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Marana, Arizona where Henrik Stenson defends his title.

The big-hitting Swede was seeded ninth at last year's event but faced no one ranked higher than 11th in his six matches, with the game's biggest names all making premature exits.

Ernie Els lost to Britain's Bradley Dredge 4&2 in the opening round and Phil Mickelson was knocked out 3&1 by Justin Rose, also of Britain, on the second day.

"The tough thing in a match-play tournament is you face elimination straightaway," Stenson told reporters during preparation for the opening World Golf Championships (WGC) event of the year.

"It can be really tough for guys traveling halfway around the world to just play one match but that's the name of the game. I think the majority of the guys really like it."

Stenson, who became the second European to win the coveted title with a 2&1 victory over holder Geoff Ogilvy of Australia in last year's final, relishes the format.

"I really enjoy match play," said the world number 12. "I've had some good success and I played in my first Ryder Cup in '06 which I really enjoyed.

"It's such a clear task, really. You've got your opponent and you either do better or worse. That's the name of the game."

The Swede is seeded 13th this year and will face 52nd-ranked Australian Robert Allenby in Wednesday's first round at Dove Mountain's Gallery Golf Club.

Most eyes will be firmly focused on top seed and twice champion Tiger Woods, who will be bidding for his eighth title in nine starts worldwide and his sixth in a row.

Tournament champion in 2003 and 2004, the 32-year-old is scheduled to take on fellow American J.B. Holmes in the opening round.

"You never know what you're going to get," Woods said. "It's the final round on the first day because anything can happen at any time.

"It's a totally different mindset. Right from the first tee it's a boat race for 18 holes. If you're one of the top players in the world anyone can shoot a low number at any time."

The vagaries of head-to-head golf are well documented and Woods's record in the elite 64-man event is a prime example.

The world number one, who returns to action for the first time since winning the European Tour's Dubai Desert Classic 15 days ago, has reached the tournament final three times.

Woods has also experienced early disappointment, losing to Peter O'Malley at the first stage in 2002 and to another Australian, Nick O'Hern, in the second round in 2005.

Left-hander O'Hern repeated the feat at Dove Mountain last year when he beat Woods in the third round after 20 holes.

Twice U.S. Masters champion Mickelson, American world number three Steve Stricker and fourth-ranked South African Els are the top seeds in the three other groups of 16 this week.

Left-hander Mickelson, who won his 33rd PGA Tour title at the Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles on Sunday, will launch his campaign against fellow American Pat Perez.

Stricker starts out against Swede Daniel Chopra and three-times major winner Els takes on American Jonathan Byrd.


February 19, 2008

Golf Today Classifieds

Bookmark page with:
What are these Email This Page Subscribe Follow us on Twitter Top of Page
News Tours Rankings Tuition Course Directory Equipment Asian Travel Notice Board

© Golftoday.co.uk 1996-2014