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MaineRed
02-18-2008, 10:38 PM
Here is the bracket:

http://i.cdn.turner.com/pgatour/docs/accenture-match-play.pdf

Action starts on Wednesday. Top 64 in the world in attendance.

Tiger should breeze through his bracket and make the final four. Aaron Baddely in round 3 and KJ Choi in round 4 have the best shots to knock him off IMO.

In the Hogan bracket I like Henrik Stenson, last years champ. Surprise pick would be Martin Kaymer, he is young German who has already won on the European Tour this season.

The Player bracket looks to be Phil's but can he and Tiger both make the final 4? It has never happened before IIRC. Both guys are playing really well though. If I had to pick someone else I would go with Justin Rose. For a sleeper, Nick O'Hern, though he is no sleeper to a certain number one ranked player.

Lastly, the Snead bracket. Lots of choices here. Steve Stricker is the number one seed but he doesn't strike me as a match play kind of guy. For a pick i will say Hunter Mahan, just for the hell of it. I hope it is Stricker, I have really grown to like him over the last year. His story should inspire EVERY golfer. My surprise pick in this bracket is the number 16 seed, Daniel Chopra.

Woods, Stenson, Rose, Mahan, those are my official picks.

Badds, Kaymer, O'Hern, Chopra for the sleepers.

Razor Shines
02-19-2008, 07:54 AM
I'll go with Tiger, Fasth, Scott and Mahan.

Highlifeman21
02-19-2008, 09:43 AM
Jones bracket possible winners
Woods
Toms
Poulter

Hogan bracket possible winners
Els
Goosen
Stenson
Scott
Garcia

Best bracket, IMO

Player bracket possible winners
Ogilvy
Rose
Singh
Fasth

This is a weak bracket

Snead bracket possible winners
Cabrera
Donald
Furyk
Harrington
Cink
Jimenez



So, realisically, I think only these 18 out of 64 guys have a good shot. The other 46 might win a match, but that's about it.

For whatever reason I just see Tiger as dangerous this year, really out to prove something, so it wouldn't surprise me if he stomped this match play tourney on his way to a ridiculous 2008.

Highlifeman21
02-20-2008, 09:58 PM
Ernie Els, you should be ashamed of yourself.

MaineRed
02-20-2008, 10:22 PM
I don't think he has anything to be ashamed of. Ernie is headed down the Greg Norman route. The world travel is catching up to him, he isn't sure where he really lives (Florida, Cape Town, London, Dubai) and he has other interest, like design. He says he wants to hunt down Tiger but that is only because the media won't let him get away with saying anything else. Els knows he is on the downside. His downside is still better than 85% of the pros on a typical day. I don't think today was a typical day.

What about Jim Furyk losing to Monty? Monty as a 15 seed is on the verge of not even qualifying for the event and a top five player in the world can't beat him? Shows why the US should be the underdog when the Ryder Cup rolls around. The Europeans feed of the match play format. The US Tour should add at least two more match play events and one of them should be added to the Fed Ex-Cup Play-offs. IMO.

Chip R
02-20-2008, 10:35 PM
What about Jim Furyk losing to Monty? Monty as a 15 seed is on the verge of not even qualifying for the event and a top five player in the world can't beat him? Shows why the US should be the underdog when the Ryder Cup rolls around. The Europeans feed of the match play format. The US Tour should add at least two more match play events and one of them should be added to the Fed Ex-Cup Play-offs. IMO.


Match play is crazy. And I mean that in a good way. A few bad holes can kill you whereas in tournament play you can make those up. You can't shoot 63 the next day and make up for it. Adding a couple of match play tour events might be a good idea but do the Euros have any more than we do? Also, and most importantly, what do the sponsors and the networks think about it? Will it get people to watch any more than they would if it was just a regular stroke play event? I think you'd have to guarantee Tiger's participation if they did that or else it probably wouldn't be worth it.

MaineRed
02-20-2008, 10:47 PM
Kids in Europe grow up playing almost nothing but Match Play so we are way behind in that regard.

The Euros do have more than we do. This tournament is co-sponspored by all the major tours so this is a European Tour event as well. They also have the World Match Play at Wentworth in London and there is also the HSBC Champions tournament in China that is match play.

I'm not sure why you have to guarantee participation from Tiger but I would want to have ALL the top players, not just Tiger. There are about 25 tournaments a year that survive without Tiger, I think a match play event without him could as well.

The problem is TV. Two man final rounds don't make for great TV. I really like Henrik Stenson, who won this tourney last season and the final round victory was the least amount of fun of all six of his wins. You watch them hit their drives and then 5 minutes. Then fairway shots, then another five minutes. You get more commercials than anything. But the first four days are great. Lots of action instead of just following Tiger and Phil around with a few on video highlights of other golfers mixed in.

BTW the entire PGA championship, perhaps short of some qualifying rounds, used to be match play.

Chip R
02-20-2008, 10:57 PM
Kids in Europe grow up playing almost nothing but Match Play so we are way behind in that regard.

The Euros do have more than we do. This tournament is co-sponspored by all the major tours so this is a European Tour event as well. They also have the World Match Play at Wentworth in London and there is also the HSBC Champions tournament in China that is match play.

I'm not sure why you have to guarantee participation from Tiger but I would want to have ALL the top players, not just Tiger. There are about 25 tournaments a year that survive without Tiger, I think a match play event without him could as well.

The problem is TV. Two man final rounds don't make for great TV. I really like Henrik Stenson, who won this tourney last season and the final round victory was the least amount of fun of all six of his wins. You watch them hit their drives and then 5 minutes. Then fairway shots, then another five minutes. You get more commercials than anything. But the first four days are great. Lots of action instead of just following Tiger and Phil around with a few on video highlights of other golfers mixed in.

BTW the entire PGA championship, perhaps short of some qualifying rounds, used to be match play.


Tiger = ratings. Without him it's not going to get significantly better ratings than if it were just a regular tour event without him or if he didn't make the cut or was out of it.

Tiger should be a wiz at match play. It's mano a mano so his competition is right there playing against him. Plus Tiger won, what, 3 U.S. Amateurs in a row playing match play format.

That's good information about the Euros. I wasn't aware of that.

If you were to televise a final match play round, it may be better if they showed it on tape delay and edited some of the in between shots stuff out.

MaineRed
02-20-2008, 11:03 PM
Tiger is a whiz at match play. His problem comes when he has to play with someone else in the fourball or foursomes. I am pretty sure his individual match play record, even as a pro is suberb.

I realize the ratings would be worse with no Tiger. That is obvious and like I said, I would want Tiger in the tournament anyways. I think it would have to be a WGC event where you have the top 64 or so. A match play tourney made up of your typical John Deere Classic field wouldn't work.

The tape delay idea is a good one. What makes the final even worse is the fact that it is 36 holes.

Screwball
02-20-2008, 11:14 PM
Match play is crazy. And I mean that in a good way. A few bad holes can kill you whereas in tournament play you can make those up.

Just a quick correction... A couple bad holes in stroke play - let's say back to back 8s - and your tournament is done. Back to back 8s in match play and you've only (likely) lost two holes, with plenty of chance to make up for it in that very match.

IMO, match play is so much different from stroke play because the mental aspect is more of a weapon (or a liability). For example, sometimes being outdriven is a good thing because you're the one that can first apply pressure by hitting your approach on the green. Also, you can concede the short putts early and make him putt them later in the pressure packed holes. And then there's the mano vs. mano aspect. You vs. me. My will vs. yours. Some thrive under those conditions, and some falter.

Redhook
02-21-2008, 07:51 AM
Just a quick correction... A couple bad holes in stroke play - let's say back to back 8s - and your tournament is done. Back to back 8s in match play and you've only (likely) lost two holes, with plenty of chance to make up for it in that very match.

IMO, match play is so much different from stroke play because the mental aspect is more of a weapon (or a liability). For example, sometimes being outdriven is a good thing because you're the one that can first apply pressure by hitting your approach on the green. Also, you can concede the short putts early and make him putt them later in the pressure packed holes. And then there's the mano vs. mano aspect. You vs. me. My will vs. yours. Some thrive under those conditions, and some falter.

You make some great points and you're absolutely correct. I wasn't at all surprised JB gave Tiger a good run yesterday. In match play, JB could play balls-to-the-wall and hit driver on every hole. It wouldn't matter if he knocked one out of play because he would only lose one hole. In stroke play, it'd be 2 shots, but in match the reward of smashing the driver on all holes outweighs the risk for someone like JB.

Match play is great. I only get to play in one match play tournament a year and I always look forward to it. I used to play in the Cincy Met as well. Fun times. It's such a different game. I remember hitting 'change-ups' with my driver so I could hit first into the green. I'd also hit 'change-ups' on par 3's to hopefully get my opponent to knock the same club over the green. And like screwball said, give a few short ones, but then make them putt some later. Keep your opponent on their toes at all times. The old saying in match play is "first one on, first one in usually wins."

BTW, I'm a little late in this thread, but I told my boss the other day I thought Padraig would win. I'll stick with him.

Over the next couple of days, we'll see a lot of upsets (according to the rankings). Rankings in this event mean a lot less than other sports like the NCAA bball tournament. The difference between #64 to #1 is very small over one round as we saw with JB and Tiger yesterday.

macro
02-21-2008, 08:30 AM
Heartbreaking loss for J.B., leading Tiger by three with only five or six holes to go, and let it get away. He'll remember yesterday for the rest of his life. One thing I've been looking forward to since he joined the tour two years ago was seeing him finish ahead of Tiger in a regular PGA event. A win yesterday would have been even sweeter.

FWIW and I've never mentioned it, but I'm a huge fan of J.B. and have watched his golf career since he began playing on the high school varsity team as a third grader.

Redhook
02-21-2008, 02:42 PM
Heartbreaking loss for J.B., leading Tiger by three with only five or six holes to go, and let it get away. He'll remember yesterday for the rest of his life. One thing I've been looking forward to since he joined the tour two years ago was seeing him finish ahead of Tiger in a regular PGA event. A win yesterday would have been even sweeter.

FWIW and I've never mentioned it, but I'm a huge fan of J.B. and have watched his golf career since he began playing on the high school varsity team as a third grader.

I'm a J.B. fan too. He's fun to watch and great for the tour.

It was a heartbreaking loss for J.B., but he didn't let it get away. Tiger took the match with 3 birdies and and an eagle in a row from holes 14-17. J.B. should be proud of how he played and will hopefully gain a lot more confidence after that match.

Screwball
02-21-2008, 05:03 PM
Tiger just completed his second round victory over Aaron Oberholser, 3 & 2.

Next up he faces the winner of the David Toms / Aaron Baddeley match, which I believe is in extra holes right now.

EDIT: He'll play Baddeley. Toms withdrew before the match even started.

MaineRed
02-21-2008, 05:46 PM
I agree with what you said before Screwball. Other than Tiger very few Tour pros can overcome a couple of really bad holes and then WIN the tournament. Match play is different. Tiger knocked his first shot OB yesterday and still won. It is doubtful that he would have been leading the tournament after day one if he had done that in a stroke play event.

The match play has been/is very exciting today (Thursday). Most Thursdays and Fridays aren't this exciting during a normal tourney. I think that makes up for the possible stinker match you might get on Sunday and to a lesser degree, Saturday.

That Stricker/Mahan match was super and the Stenson/Immelman match is as well.

Screwball
02-21-2008, 06:00 PM
That Stricker/Mahan match was super and the Stenson/Immelman match is as well.

Definitely. I was rooting for Stricker and actually gave a fist pump of my own when he drained that bomb to win the match.

Stenson/Immelman is awesome. They're on, what, their 4th extra hole, and neither wants to give an inch. Very dramatic and very exciting, IMHO.

Also, has anybody else noticed the "putt line" they put on the greens occasionaly to show the path the ball needs to travel to go in? I thought it was pretty cool, and gave some perspective and depth to the greens which is almost impossible to pick up on TV.

MaineRed
02-21-2008, 10:04 PM
I was rooting for Stricker as well while at the same time not being upset when Mahan was drilling putts of his own.

They closed down the broadcast before the end of the Stenson win over Immelman and it ended up going 25 holes. Stenson gets 16 seed Jonathan Byrd tomorrow.

Another good point Screwball about the putting line. It is impossible to know how much a putt is going to break unless the announcers really stress it, which is rare.

paintmered
02-21-2008, 10:43 PM
It's a whole different game when players go from playing the course to playing the course and an opponent. It's not so much that it requires more mental toughness, but rather a completely different mindset. In medal play, players tune out as much as they can (at least until things get serious on Sunday). Now, they have to play attention to every nuance of the other player and try to use it to their advantage. It's not surprising that some players get out of their element when they have to track more than themselves and the scoreboard.

I'll get the chance to see it up close and personal when the Euros school the Yanks yet again on the first day of the Ryder Cup at Valhalla. (My dad scored tickets in the lottery)

RawOwl UK
02-23-2008, 03:52 AM
I'll go for.

Woods
Stenson
Cabrera
Singh

Might even put some money down to keep me watching :)

Highlifeman21
02-24-2008, 09:43 PM
So yeah, who had Woods 8 & 7 over Cink?

Look out PGA Tour, Mr. Woods is here for 2008.

MaineRed
02-24-2008, 10:43 PM
You know what, the final four didn't come out of the blue. If you look at the Official World Rankings, there is a column listing "points gained in 2008". While I don't know exactly what it means, I do know if you have a big number there it means you have been playing well of late. To make a long story short here are the players, in order, who have gained the most points in the world rankings (among the top 50), this season. The names are quite familar in relation to this event.

BTW, the numbers are from BEFORE this event.

Tiger Woods
Phil Mickelson
Henrik Stenson
KJ Choi
Steward Cink
Justin Leonard

So there you have it. Among the six hottest players in the field, four of them made the final four while a fifth was eliminated by Tiger in the round of 8 (Choi). And it was Cink who took down Phil in a match that Phil made six or seven birdies.

I just wish I had picked up on this a week ago.

Highlifeman21
02-24-2008, 11:11 PM
Singh was the only good victory Leonard had. His bracket was noticeably weak.

Baddeley's new swing is coming along nicely.

Immelman was the only South African that actually looked and acted like he wanted to be there.

Sergio Garcia, you lost to Boo Weekley. Boo freakin' Weekley.... How's that putter treatin' ya, Serg?

The Snead bracket by far was the most exciting/entertaining, IMO.

Nike sure has made up a lot of ground in a short amount of time in the golf world.

The Golf Channel's coverage of the event was waaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than NBC's. Gimme Nick Faldo over Johnny Miller every damn day of the week. Faldo's statements on amateurs using the wrong equipment and the wrong ball today, a thing of beauty.

US players need to play more match play events if we ever hope to stop being a laughing stock in world match play (Ryder Cups and President Cups). It's a whole different strategy when you're playing another human, as opposed to the golf course.

MaineRed
02-24-2008, 11:28 PM
Did you hear the story about Weekly? He didn't know you could concede putts.

Agree about the Golf Channel. I hate NBC's coverage of golf. Why is Miller in such a hurry to guess where the ball is going?

"Looks like he is hanging back a little, must be going right, eh Rog?"

"His grip looked pretty weak there Mark, must be headed left?"

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. Just wait and see where the ball goes, if it goes left, explain what you saw that might explain it. But I hate when Miller is critiquing someone for the mistake that pushed their ball right when it lands 340 yards down the center of the fairway.

I also can't stand Gary Koch. Or Dan Hicks. Or Gary Roberts.

Badds is going to be a force at some point. There are a lot of really strong players out there. A good number of them could REALLY take off with a major title. Stenson, Choi, Badds, Justin Rose, on and on and on. People don't realize how strong the rest of the field is. You always hear critism that someone needs to go after Tiger but Tiger is just that good. He isn't winning because of weak fields.

I want more match play too highlifeman and I agree it would help in the Ryder Cup but the US is 5-1-1 in the Presidents Cup.

Highlifeman21
02-25-2008, 12:11 AM
Did you hear the story about Weekly? He didn't know you could concede putts.

Agree about the Golf Channel. I hate NBC's coverage of golf. Why is Miller in such a hurry to guess where the ball is going?

"Looks like he is hanging back a little, must be going right, eh Rog?"

"His grip looked pretty weak there Mark, must be headed left?"

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. Just wait and see where the ball goes, if it goes left, explain what you saw that might explain it. But I hate when Miller is critiquing someone for the mistake that pushed their ball right when it lands 340 yards down the center of the fairway.

I also can't stand Gary Koch. Or Dan Hicks. Or Gary Roberts.

Badds is going to be a force at some point. There are a lot of really strong players out there. A good number of them could REALLY take off with a major title. Stenson, Choi, Badds, Justin Rose, on and on and on. People don't realize how strong the rest of the field is. You always hear critism that someone needs to go after Tiger but Tiger is just that good. He isn't winning because of weak fields.

I want more match play too highlifeman and I agree it would help in the Ryder Cup but the US is 5-1-1 in the Presidents Cup.

The Americans only learn how to beat non-Americans and non-Euros in the Presidents Cups. They are wasted opportunities to learn and try strategies key to winning Ryder Cups. Americans are too enamored with flying the damn ball to the hole and putting so much spin on it that it stops immediately. You can't play that shot worldwide. Learn more shots, and then execute them. There's a reason Euros are more commonly referred as "shot-makers".

Boo Weekley is the definition of country bumpkin, but man is he fun to watch. I get the same feeling watching him as I do watch Brett Wetterich. Both have tons of talent, and the wheels can come off with the very next shot. Fun to watch those type players.

To Miller's defense, his words are just filling dead air. Granted, he could pick or choose better words and or topics, but he's doing his job. That being said, stop talking about the golf swing, Johnny Miller. You were never a good ball striker, so don't pretend that you are an expert of the golf swing. I would rather NBC hire a top golf instructor (Harmon, Haney, Smith, etc... anyone BUT Leadbetter or Pelz) and have them wax about the intricate nature of a top golfer's swing (since it has no practical application to John Q. Public's golf swing).

I'm not convinced that Tiger is beating good fields. This week we saw the top 63 players in the world, plus JB Holmes, and due to match play the results were rather predictable. Leonard was the only surprise to me. At the beginning of this, I thought only 18 guys had a chance, and I was 3 for 4 on the final four, based on who I thought had a chance. It's not rocket science when it comes to match play and who's going to win. Only 4 Americans I thought had any chance at this, and had I given Leonard a chance, that would have made it 5 out of 19. Match match isn't an American game. Should prove interesting to see how the rest of the tourneys between now and the British Open (July) play out to see if the field has indeed gotten stronger. There is no direct rival or challenger to Tiger right now. KJ Choi may be the closest thing, as scary as that may be. I truly think we will see a historical year from Tiger in 2008.

MWM
02-25-2008, 03:52 AM
I love Nick Faldo on TV. He's much better than I thought he'd be. My guess is he'll be picked up by one of the major networks that cover golf in the near future.

MaineRed
02-25-2008, 07:27 AM
Faldo is the lead analyst for CBS, has been since the start of last season.

highlifeman, so you don't think the PGA Tour/golf is full of really good players who have one small problem, the greatest golfer, by far, who ever lived?

I think the guys I listed, Choi, Stenson, Rose and Badds (to name a few) are superb players. They just aren't as good as Tiger Woods. You are right, nobody can compete with him. Nobody is going to be making any "runs" at him. But IMO it doesn't make the rest of the field a pile of crap.

Were the fields really stronger after the number one spot when Greg Norman was number one in the rankings and guys like Ian Woosnam and Sandy Lyle were top ten players?

Without digging into it too much, I would think the fields are stronger now than they were in 1970. 1980 or 1990, 2-64.

Redhook
02-25-2008, 09:05 AM
Interesting observations/opinions Maine and Highlife. I'd like to toss some of my opinions into this discussion.

Faldo as an announcer is awesome. He's funny, intelligent, and very knowledgeable about the golf swing.

I like Miller because he tells it like it is. That's tough to do. I do wish he'd stop analyzing the swings so much though.

Boo Weekley is a great person. I used to play with him quite a bit on the DP Tour. He's a very nice, genuine guy. He's one heck of a ball striker too. He hits the ball extremely low. I would bet that he hits it more solid and lower than anyone on tour. He used to play with sneakers on. I never saw him play in golf shoes. He wore no belt. He wore black socks occasionally with shorts on. And not the short ones. He's always dipping. He roots for you to do well. Good guy.

Badds is one heck of a good player. His swing is very simple.

Tiger is the best ever. By far. In any sport.

Tiger is beating excellent fields that are very deep. He's just so much better than anyone else who's played the game. And it's not from his ball striking. It's from his short game and mental game.

Mickelson is the only one that could give Tiger a decent run right now. IMO, he's clearly the second best in the world.

Gary Kock is awful. You can tell by his announcing that he plays the game scared. He's weak.

Match play is a different animal than stroke play. I'm not sure there are one or two reasons why the Americans are struggling at it right now. I think it could be momentum, lack of match play events, mentality, desire, satisfaction with the money and their lives, etc. If the Americans win the next Cup they may win 5 in a row. Who knows.

The final match should be 18 holes. I know 36 holes is a better indicator of who's the best player, but it's awful for tv. It needs to be 18 holes.

MaineRed
02-25-2008, 10:09 AM
I have no problem with Miller telling it like it is. I just hate the guessing of where the ball is going while it is in the air. Miller tries to pick up on something he sees from the swing to indicate where the ball is going and most of the time the on course reporter has to cover for him. He'll say, "headed right isn't it Gary?"

"Sort of Johnny, its down the right side of the left handed side of the fairway, so yeah, he pushed it a little."

Agree about the final being only 18 holes. I don't get the 36 holes at all. 18 is enough.

SunDeck
02-25-2008, 01:20 PM
I like Faldo as an announcer. I think he offers an insight and an empathy for the players that Miller does not. When a guy makes a poor shot, Faldo tends to see it from the perspective of what does to the next shot, whereas Miller sees it from the point of being a poor decision or a faulty swing. One guy is looking through the players' eyes and the other is just critiquing. That and I don't know enough about the golf swing to really grasp what Miller is saying most of the time, either.

And I also like the fact that the CBS guys have a little more fun. NBC seems dour by comparison- like golf was when I watched as a kid, listening to <SNORE> Chris Schenkel</SNORE>. I fell asleep on many a Saturday afternoons watching golf.

MaineRed
02-25-2008, 01:48 PM
Dour is the perfect word. Mark Rolfing, Gary Koch, Roger Maltbie (not as bad as the first two), Hicks, Miller, Jimmy Roberts, Bob Murphy. They are a bunch of snivelers. There is just no life to their party. The only thing that saves them, IMO is Dottie Pepper and she wasn't there this weekend. She is excited to be out there and it comes across in her delivery. The rest of them do make you want to go to sleep.

I'm a CBS man. Nantz is a total pro who does so without sounding pompous. He is the everymans play by play guy, IMO. Faldo is great and Venturi was great back in the day. CBS tried with Lanny Wadkins but he just was't made for TV. I like McCord and Fehretty. They love what they do and they are good at it. They have fun. I can't say the same for their on course counterparts at NBC. And Ian Baker-Finch knocks the socks of Gary Koch. Add Verne Lundquist to the mix and it is a team of all stars.

bucksfan2
02-25-2008, 02:06 PM
Dour is the perfect word. Mark Rolfing, Gary Koch, Roger Maltbie (not as bad as the first two), Hicks, Miller, Jimmy Roberts, Bob Murphy. They are a bunch of snivelers. There is just no life to their party. The only thing that saves them, IMO is Dottie Pepper and she wasn't there this weekend. She is excited to be out there and it comes across in her delivery. The rest of them do make you want to go to sleep.

I'm a CBS man. Nantz is a total pro who does so without sounding pompous. He is the everymans play by play guy, IMO. Faldo is great and Venturi was great back in the day. CBS tried with Lanny Wadkins but he just was't made for TV. I like McCord and Fehretty. They love what they do and they are good at it. They have fun. I can't say the same for their on course counterparts at NBC. And Ian Baker-Finch knocks the socks of Gary Koch. Add Verne Lundquist to the mix and it is a team of all stars.

I really dispise Nantz. I think he has this era of arrogance about him. I really think the only top broadcaster that I like is Bob Costas. I do love Fehretty and McCord and Jonny Miller is good as well. Maybe I just get annoyed watching CBS and hearing "the masters on cbs" before every commercial break. I am a little partial to the US Open so I like NBC's telecast the best.