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Poulter set for WGC-Accenture Match Play defence

Big guns ready to role at Ritz-Carlton in Arizona

Posted Feb 18, 2011 by Jeff Dawson

Ian Poulter - defending WGC-Accenture Match Play champion

Golf’s big guns are not in action this weekend as they all mentally and physically prepare for the testing WGC-Accenture Match Play tournament that begins next Thursday.
This is one of the most prestigious and lucrative competitions in the sport outside of the majors and once again Europe’s top golfers will be hoping for plenty of joy across the pond at Ritz-Carlton GC in Arizona.
Ian Poulter won this event last year and starts with an extremely tricky opening match against 2009 Open champion Stewart Cink.
Poulter will be his usual confident self and he will be looking for another morale boosting victory as he plans an assault on the world top 10 this season.
Word number one, Lee Westwood, starts with a match against the lowest ranked player at the event, Japan’s Toru Taniguchi who sits 64th in the world list. This event is open to the world’s top 64 players.
Other stand-out matches are Zach Johnson versus Justin Rose, Tiger Woods against Thomas Bjorn, Phil Mickelson plays Brendon Jones and Martin Kaymer opens against Noh Seung-yul.
The good thing about Match Play golf is that you can have a few bad holes and it doesn’t really matter too much as a few good ones get you back in it. And it is for this reason that I think Tiger Woods will be dangerous at this competition. He is so inconsistent at present that this presents a major danger to his opponents as they won’t know which Tiger Woods they will be facing. Equally, it also means he is capable of crashing out at the first hurdle but I’m hoping that won’t happen.
However, I have a sneaky suspicion that this competition will belong to Kaymer. I don’t know why but I think he will be the man to beat if anyone else wants to walk away with the winner’s cheque. Roll on next Thursday I say.

Here is the full draw for the opening round of matches: (1) Lee Westwood v (64) Toru Taniguchi; (32) Nick Watney v (33) Anthony Kim; (16) Retief Goosen v (49) KJ Choi; (17) Francesco Molinari v (48) Ryan Moore; (8) Steve Stricker v (57) Matteo Manassero; (25) Charl Schwartzel v (40) Ryo Ishikawa; (9) Luke Donald v (56) Charley Hoffman; (24) Edoardo Molinari v (41) Martin Laird?(4) Phil Mickelson v (61) Brendan Jones; (29) Rickie Fowler v (36) Peter Hanson; (13) Matt Kuchar v (52) Anders Hansen; (20) Louis Oosthuizen v (45) Bo Van Pelt; (5) Graeme McDowell v (60) Heath Slocum; (28) Robert Allenby v (37) Ross Fisher; (12) Ian Poulter v (53) Stewart Cink (21) Alvaro Quiros v (44) YE Yang?(2) Martin Kaymer v (63) Noh Seung-yul; (31) Zach Johnson v (34) Justin Rose; (15) Robert Karlsson v (50) Hiroyuki Fujita; ((18) Hunter Mahan v (47) Sean O'Hair; (7) Rory McIlroy v ((58) Jonathan Byrd; (26) Adam Scott v (39) Ben Crane; (10) Jim Furyk v (55) Ryan Palmer; (23) Miguel Angel Jimenez v (42) Yuta Ikeda?(3) Tiger Woods v (62) Thomas Bjorn; (30) Geoff Ogilvy v (35) Padraig Harrington; (14) Dustin Johnson v (51) Mark Wilson; (19) Bubba Watson v (46) Bill Haas; (6) Paul Casey v (59) Richard Green; (27) Kim Kyung-tae v (38) Jason Day; (11) Ernie Els v (54) Jeff Overton; (22) Tim Clark v (43) Camilo Villegas

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