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Match Play Championship Reveals Golfers’ Killer Instincts
It is not a major championship. But those who compete in the Accenture Match Play Championship and advance through the brackets have a chance to assert themselves on the tour.
Match play harkens back to the type of golf that was played in a different era. Championships were won and lost based on how well you could compete against your fellow professionals on a 1-on-1 basis. It required toughness, single-mindedness, strategy and the ability to move on to the next shot without thinking about past failures or successes.
This year's tournament features the best players in the world. Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Steve Stricker, Martin Kaymer, Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods are just a few of the 64 competitors.
Last year, Donald came out on top, beating Kaymer in the finals. Donald has always enjoyed the 1-on-1 aspect of match play, saying that it represents a significantly different type of game and preparation than he uses during stroke-play tournaments.
Donald believes that match play will sharpen a golfer's shot-making ability because a match can turn on a single stroke so many different times.
The presence of Woods will certainly heighten interest at the start, but if he can win his first two or three matches it will help the overall appeal of the tournament.
If this was the 2010 or 2011 season, that would have just been a pipedream. But this season, Woods appears more focused and may be prepared to make a solid run in this tournament as well as the majors that will follow.
No, Woods has not become the dominant golfer of yesterday, but it seems like he has come to grips with the issues that tore his personal life apart in 2009. He may or may not make progress in those areas, but it seems like his golf game is once again coming into sharper focus.
Go back to the Pebble Beach Pro-Am just a couple of weeks ago. Woods played three solid rounds and appeared ready to make a charge on Sunday and get back in the winner's circle. Instead, it was old rival Phil Mickelson who stole the show.
There are more steps for Woods to take. He is not all the way back. He must learn how to walk through the opening and then shut the door behind him like he once did so frequently.
The Accenture Match Play championship will give him the opportunity to take one more step on the road to golf recovery.
CBS Sports—New World Order
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