WGC-Accenture Match Play preview:

WGC-Accenture Match Play preview:

WGC-Accenture Match Play preview: Tiger's streak is such a bore
Wednesday February 21, 2007

All this talk of Tiger Woods's streak is one big yawn. I couldn't give a million dimpled golf balls whether this is part of a streak or not. So I certainly won't be hanging of the edge of my chair, fingers between teeth, as the Tucson matchplay unfolds.

But the main reason for that is that I will have precious little money on it. I'm sure we'll see lots of wonderful golf, but you might as well play a Las Vegas slot machine as pick a winner. It is, as one newspaper headline puts it, a crapshoot, made more difficult this year by shifting from wet California to dry Arizona.

Nobody's giving away any gifts in the market either - you have to go a bit of a way down the betting before you see much difference between fixed and exchange prices. Tiger's fixed price was actually ahead of the exchange Wednesday morning, but don't get too excited - it's just about squared up by exchange commission.

So I'm not going to pull the handle on the Arizona one-course bandit, especially since I think Tiger's price of just under 5 is a bit miserable. Remember he doesn't have to grind down his opponents over six rounds, he has to triumph in each and every one and he hasn't made it to the quarter-finals in the last two years. J J Henry is no pushover either. Obviously Tiger has a strong chance of winning this year, but I'd still want a better reward for backing him.

I would also note that there are enough top-flight players in form at the moment that surely one of them is able to prevail this week: the likes of Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Jim Furyk, Robert Allenby.

If I were to spin a few coins the bookies' way, I'd take a punt on the individual matches, some of which I don't think are as clear-cut as the betting suggests. I have a handy table of the lineups here.

My first query is Luke Donald who has missed the cut in his last two outings and really appears out of sorts. His opponent Miguel Angel Jiminez is a previous quarterfinalist, albeit seven years ago.

K J Choi's match against Carl Pettersson could be interesting because Pettersson at last showed some of his old form at the Nissan last week. I think Bart Bryant currently has the beating of Ian Poulter and Trevor Immelman's tussle with Thomas Bjorn could be closer than the prices suggest.

John Rollins could certainly put one past Vijay Singh and 'local boy' and matchplay supremo Paul Casey might get more than he bargained for from Mike Weir, who also came back to life last week.

But remember children, this week it's is just for fun.


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