Tuesday, February 19

Welcome to Bracketville, Population 64

Hunter Mahan defends his title this week at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. (Allison)

THE 2013 WGC-ACCENTURE MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP begins on Wednesday in the Arizona desert not far from Tucson. Sixty-four of the world’s finest golfers tee it up at Dove Mountain. By Sunday afternoon, it will be Lonesome Dove, with only one man left standing after six grueling matches.

Who will that man be?

Last year it was Hunter Mahan, who dispatched Rory McIlroy in the final. The year before it was Luke Donald, who not long after rose to No. 1 in the world. Donald is an ideal match player when you think about it. He putts like a dream. He could get it up and down from out of a cactus.

I like the match play. It’s full of surprises. I don’t care if the marquee players lose early. May the best man on that day win. I guess I’m a contrarion. But I don’t fill out the Bobby Jones, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Sam Snead brackets.

[2013 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship brackets]

Seriously, how do you do that? And how do you pick a winner?

I like what Geoff Shackelford said last year. “Predictions in golf are utterly useless.”

Especially in Bracketville.

As Geoff explained:
Who knows which player slept poorly? Got yelled at by his wife? Is thinking about firing his agent? Had a slight stomach reaction to the Chipotle he ate at the airport? Or all of the above, plus he secretly hates desert golf more than he lets on and can’t wait to get home so he can vegetate in front of his Playstation for two weeks?
My pick is Jason Dufner.

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