So, Tiger Woods has announced that he will be making his comeback in Tucson next week at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, where 64 players will be competing for a $1.4 million first prize.
The brackets will not be officially released until Sunday at 7 p.m. Eastern, but we know that Tiger is the No. 1 seed. We also know that the top 64 players in World Ranking have committed to play the event. I couldn’t help but try to map out Tiger’s road to the final. Here’s what would happen if all of the favorites won.
The road to the 36-hole final could be a gauntlet. In the opening round, Woods would face Brendan Jones, the 64th ranked player in the world, who would instantly become the answer to a trivia question. If Woods defeated Jones, a 33-year-old Australian, he would move on to face Tim Clark, the 32nd seed. Clark is a crafty South African who has played on two Presidents Cup teams. In December, he won the Australian Open.
Things would get very interesting in the third round, where Woods could face 19-year-old Rory McIllory, the 16th seed. The teen from Northern Ireland won this season in Dubai and will be playing as a professional for the first time in the United States. I can just imagine Tiger, two wins already in hand, staring down McIllory on the first tee. Welcome to the show, kid.
In the quarterfinals on Saturday morning, Woods would face eighth-seeded Geoff Ogilvy. The Aussie won the Mercedes-Benz Championship in January, and this event in 2006. In the afternoon, Woods would face fourth-seeded Vijay Singh, who won last season’s Barclays and Deutsche Bank championships en route to the FedEx Cup.
After all that, Woods would face Sergio Garcia, the No. 2 seed, in a 36-hole final. Garcia won last season’s Players Championship and the European Tour’s HSBC Champions in November.
Golf’s television ratings have been falling as fast as the stock market, but if that series of matches becomes reality, it would be NBC’s dream come true. Golf fans’ too.