Winning the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship is a bit like winning the Champions League - you are going to have to play somebody good somewhere along the line.
So if you are one of the top players, I don't think you don't get bogged down by whom you might face. You don't think about that. You just accept that you are playing the best players in the world and that anybody on their day can beat you, including the big names and the lesser names. It does not matter whom you are playing, you could get turned over.
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson may have withdrawn but there are so many top players in the field, including Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and then a whole host of Americans such as Dustin Johnson, Jimmy Walker and Bubba Watson. Any of those players could go out in the first round. There will be some fascinating stories.
Sergio has had a surge in the right direction recently. He looks happier and he looks like he is dangerous again, so I am looking forward to seeing if he can keep his good form going.
Wednesday at the Accenture is one of the great days in golf because there is so much going on, it is so high tempo and it is great.
Quotes of the week
I am also looking forward to watching McIlroy. He finished runner-up and just missed out in Abu Dhabi and then gave himself a chance of winning in Dubai only fail to produce the final round that he would have wanted. So look out for McIlroy at 12/1
Ian Poulter is trying to start the year with a bang - and this will be a good one for him to play well in. Henrik Stenson, as we know, was phenomenal at the end of last season and there are signs that he is just knocking the rust off his game as we get into the big events now.
Justin Rose is still trying to get back into the full swing of things after returning from injury so it will be interesting to see how he looks physically and golf-wise this week. May be a match play event is a good one for Justin to come back at.
It will be great to see what Johnson can do and Watson, after his win at the Northern Trust Open. It is hard to pick a winner.
I want to see if Lee Westwood - who has split with his swing coach Sean Foley - is going to come back to some sort of form. And I have a feeling that he is going to start playing well again and McIlroy's game is on the up so I think one of those two could win it. They could play each other on Thursday but the winner would be in a great place to challenge for the title.
I must admit that, generally, I prefer the imponderables you get on the final day of the stroke play to match play, apart from team match play like the Ryder Cup. However, there is certainly a place for it and the Accenture is a massive WGC event.
What's more, I think the Wednesday at the Accenture is one of the great days in golf because there is so much going on, it is so high tempo and it is great.
ROB'S SKY BET TIPS
Thomas Bjorn (66/1 with Sky Bet) plays Francesco Molinari in the first round. Bjorn is in the position where he looks like he is going to be nailed on for the Ryder Cup side and if he were to win here this week then it would be mega for Bjorn. He is a tough guy.
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