The Accenture Match Play Championship has been a staple for world golfers since 1999. Tiger Woods has excelled, winning three out of 13 tournaments held so far. The 2012 edition will be exciting as Woods attempts to come back and win a tournament on the PGA Tour.
Here's a look at some interesting facts and figures surrounding the Accenture Match Play Championship.
*The 2012 edition will be played at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, part of the Dove Mountain Resort in Arizona. The luxury resort, golf and hotel complex is located north of Tucson.
The course being played opened in January 2009. This will be the fourth year in a row the Accenture Match Play Championship has been held on this particular course. The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club was designed by legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus.
*The format involves the top 64 golfers in the world in a single-elimination format. The top seed this year is Luke Donald. The other three top seeds in each bracket are Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer. Woods is the 19th-highest rated player in the world and is a five seed.
*Winners of the match are determined by how many holes are won. If one golfer gets a birdie and the other scores a par or worse, the golfer with the birdie goes "one up" on the other. Rounds are scheduled to last 18 holes, but may go shorter or longer depending upon how far ahead the winning golfer is along the course. If a player is five holes up with just four to play, the golfer who is behind cannot catch up so the match ends. After 18 holes, the match becomes sudden death. The championship match is played over 36 holes in regulation.
*The brackets work just like the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Players are seeded initially by the best versus the worst and so on towards the middle of the 64 golfers. Winners move to the next round where they will play another golfer. The last one standing after the championship is declared the winner. Instead of going by an overall cumulative score, the tournament is based on beating an opponent head-to-head.
*Play starts on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Normally, PGA events have the first round on Thursdays. Because of the single elimination format, an extra day is added to accommodate all of the matches being contested.
*The longest championship match happened in the inaugural event in 1999. Jeff Maggert defeated Andrew Magee in 38 holes. The largest margin of victory in any one match was 9 up with 8 to play in 2006 when Woods defeated Stephen Ames in the first round.
William Browning has covered sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network including golf and local golf courses in southwest Missouri. He currently resides in Branson, Mo.
- Tiger Woods