FRIDAY, FEB. 24: Whether it’s the Accenture World Matchplay or the Bermuda Matchplay championship, (which is coming up, so get your entries in) knowing how to navigate your way through a match-play event can be crucial.
You don’t have to play the game any differently in match play, but you have to realize that you are playing a different game.
In stroke play, you should be playing yourself and the golf course.
In match play, you are playing only your opponent. Of course, the best way to beat your opponent in match play is to concentrate on playing the course and yourself.
The Bermuda Matchplay championship is one of those tournaments I wish I was an amateur again. The thrill of playing the best players on a great course like Mid Ocean would be something I would look forward to each year.
Always think like you’re playing stroke play.
Don’t abandon the same routine that works every other day.
If you’re more comfortable playing conservatively, continue to play and think that way, regardless of how the match stands.
Suddenly trying something different can lead to a tentative swing.
Whatever strategy you choose, though, have it clear in your mind how you’re going to approach the match before you even get to the golf course, and don’t waiver from it once you leave the first tee.
The World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship always makes for a fun, a completely different golf experience. It also makes for a challenging one.
Even though the host course, the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, is the longest track on Tour at 7,849 yards, recent winners Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Geoff Ogilvy aren’t long hitters. In fact the shorter hitters bizarrely seem to have an advantage!
The best bets this week are guys playing good golf at the moment and guys who have shown they can handle the unique pressure of match play. We should also pay attention to guys who hit greens, as they’re much harder to hit than the fairways at this course.
Go ahead and waste your money on Tiger if you want.
Until he shows he has something of his killer instinct, I’m not touching him. He might have his head on straight later this year but his play so far is simply not good enough, especially his driving.
My tip for this week is Dustin Johnson, this could be his year and as Donald did last year, this week was the start of his assent to World No. 1.
Paul Adams is the PGA director of golf at Rosewood Tucker’s Point.