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Shotgun Start: Previewing the WGC-Accenture Match Play

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WGC-Accenture Match Play / Getty Images

It's tournament time! We continue the season at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, the only non-stroke play event on the PGA Tour schedule.  Here's a tournament primer to get you prepared for the week.

The course: For the fourth year in a row, The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain will play host to the WGC-Accenture Match Play. The 27-hole Jack Nicklaus course, located in the High Sonoran Desert, is one of the longest tracks on tour at 7,833 yards. But don't get hung up on the length of the course; Luke Donald won the event last year, so you know the course doesn't favor the bombers on the PGA Tour. Aside from some seriously generous fairway, you'll also notice the course's bunkering is all over the map. Dove Mountain not only has your standard bunkers, but pot bunkers and expansive waste areas that stretch over 50 yards. Hitting wayward shots isn't advisable ... unless, of course, you enjoy spending time in the desert vegetation.

The schedule: The tournament runs Wednesday-Sunday. It'll be broadcast on the Golf Channel from 12 to 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday,  2 to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday; and on CBS from 2 to 6 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday. That's over 28 hours of live tournament coverage ... whew!

The field: Marana, Ariz., plays host to the top 64 players in the World Golf Rankings this week, but a few notable names decided to pass on the event -- including Phil Mickelson, who's going to be on Spring Break with his kids (what a nice guy). Other than Mickelson, this event definitely has a major championship feel to it. Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer are just a few of the notable names in the field. There's also some guy by the name of Tiger Woods playing this week.

The video: Check out some of the memorable moments from the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship's history.

Your turn. Who are your picks for this week? Swing away!

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