I had a fun day at the WGC Accenture Match Play yesterday, the weather was perfect and the top 64 players in the world were all in one place for us to see. I was there with one of my good golfing buddies Jason, and we started our day at the driving range where Tiger was warming up with his coach Sean Foley. He seemed to be striking the ball well, and it looked like he was also working on some knockdown shots as the wind was starting to pick up. Also on the range were Lee Westwood, Thomas Bjorn and several other players. As we were watching Tiger, Phil Mickelson arrived as did Rickie Fowler. It was just fun to watch so many great players in one place at the same time.
From the driving range we passed by the putting green, then headed out onto the course. My goal was to see as many of the Nike athletes as I could. Stewart Cink was in the closing holes of his match, Paul Casey, Charl Schwartzel and Francesco Molibnari were out on the course and Tiger and AK had yet to tee off. We headed out to the second green, where we waited for the Woods/Bjorn match to show up, which was delayed as the Cink/Poulter match went into extra holes. We were rewarded when it did show up, as Tiger made a nice up and down from the left greenside bunker, and we were standing in the gallery right behind Tiger when he made the putt.
From there we headed to the 7th green where Francesco Moliari’s match was coming through. Unfortunately Francesco made a bogey there and Ryan Moore went two up. Then we headed to the back nine were we caught up with the Charl Schwartzel/Ryo Ishikawa match at the 16th tee, then headed back to the 10th green/11th tee area to catch up with Tiger. We arrived there just as his match was getting to the 11th tee, and were able to stand very close for his tee shot. It looked to us like he was striking the ball pretty well, but we didn’t get the chance to see a lot of his shots, and since he did not make it through the first round the question remains as to when he will put four solid rounds together and win again.
Soon after that it was time for us to head for the gates, but all in all it was a fun day at the opening round of the Match Play, one of my favorite days to watch golf all year on the PGA Tour. It’s really fun to see so many of the world’s greatest players in person, and was great to see some of the Nike athletes up close in their matches. So we hopped in the car and said goodbye to the Ritz Carlton Golf Club, until next year when I’ll definitely be back for the opening round of 64 on Wednesday.