Today was Day 1 of the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship — this is one of my favorite days on the PGA Tour schedule, because the top 64 players in the world (minus the usual few no-shows) are together in one place, something you don’t even see at the majors. It’s also a bonus that the tournament is currently held just north of Tucson at the Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain, about an hour and a half drive from my home in north central Phoenix. So this morning I hopped in my car, met up with my buddy Jason, and we headed south to check out the first round action.
When we got to the course, we caught up with Francesco Molinari on the first hole. At the same time Tiger Woods was teeing off on #6. So we jumped ahead to the back 9 to check out some of the other players and wait for Tiger, avoiding the throng of fans who were following him. When Tiger reached the 11th tee, we had a spot at the ropes just a few feet away from the tee markers. There’s nothing like the sound of a Tiger tee shot, it sounds like a rifle going off. When Tiger left the tee, his caddy Joe LaCava had stopped to get something out of Tiger’s bag, so the guy next to me asked him if he could have the line-em-up ball marker tool that was lying on the ground. Instead, he tossed him one of Tiger’s ONE Tour D’s, compete with Tiger’s name stamp on it. Jason was able to get a nice shot of it, the pic is in the gallery below.
We caught up with Tiger again at the 15th green, and followed him through the end of his match. We were able to get close again at 16 tee and again at 17, when his tee shot ended up just across the ropes from where we were standing (see pics below). We followed the match to the 17th green and then down the 18th, where Tiger was able to close out the match at 18 green, winning 1 up. After that we hoofed it back to the car and headed home, with another Match Play Wednesday in the books.
Jason was able to get some pretty cool photos while we were there today, you can check those out in the gallery below.
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF JASON ZELICH/ZCONCEPTZ.COM