WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship 2013: Tee Times, Date and TV Schedule

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WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship 2013: Tee Times, Date and TV Schedule
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The Accenture Match Play Championship is one of the most entertaining tournaments of the golf season. Instead of stroke play, it's a bracket-style event similar to March Madness in college basketball with 64 of the world's top players going head to head for the title.

Hunter Mahan is back to defend his title after beating Rory McIlroy, this year's top overall seed, in the finals. The field also features Tiger Woods, Luke Donald, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose and countless other big names. The most notable absences are Phil Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker.

The tournament forces players to use more strategy. Normally, it's just them against the course in an attempt to post a low score. Match play comes down to which player can best adapt his game to each opponent and take chances at the right times.

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Action gets underway on Wednesday with the Round of 64. Here's a look at the key information for the event, followed by a television schedule, list of opening-round matchups and predictions for which players will reach the final four and who will take home the trophy.

 

Where: The Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz.

When: Wednesday, Feb. 20 – Sunday, Feb. 24

Watch: Golf Channel and NBC

Bracket: Complete Tournament Outlook

 

TV Schedule

Date Time (ET) Channel
Wednesday, Feb. 20 12 - 6 p.m. Golf Channel
Thursday, Feb. 21 1 - 6 p.m. Golf Channel
Friday, Feb. 22 2 - 6 p.m. Golf Channel
Saturday, Feb. 23 12 - 2 p.m. Golf Channel
Saturday, Feb. 23 2 - 6 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Feb. 24 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Golf Channel
Sunday, Feb. 24 2 - 6 p.m. NBC

 

Round 1 Matchups and Tee Times

Bobby Jones Quarter

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Tee Time (ET) Player Player
10:05 a.m. No. 3 Charl Schwartzel No. 14 Russell Henley
10:15 a.m. No. 6 Zach Johnson No. 11 Jason Day
11:25 a.m. No. 2 Bubba Watson No. 15 Chris Wood
11:35 a.m. No. 7 Jim Furyk No. 10 Ryan Moore
12:45 p.m. No. 4 Dustin Johnson No. 13 Alexander Noren
12:55 p.m. No. 5 Graeme McDowell No. 12 Padraig Harrington
2:05 p.m. No. 1 Rory McIlroy No. 16 Shane Lowry
2:15 p.m. No. 8 Rickie Fowler No. 9 Carl Pettersson

 

Ben Hogan Quarter

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Tee Time (ET) Player Player
9:25 a.m. No. 3 Sergio Garcia No. 14 Thongchai Jaidee
9:35 a.m. No. 6 Matt Kuchar No. 11 Hiroyuki Fujita
10:45 a.m. No. 2 Justin Rose No. 15 K.J. Choi
10:55 a.m. No. 7 Bill Haas No. 10 Nicolas Colsaerts
12:05 p.m. No. 4 Keegan Bradley No. 13 Marcus Fraser
12:15 p.m. No. 5 Ernie Els No. 12 Fredrik Jacobson
1:25 p.m. No. 1 Louis Oosthuizen No. 16 Richie Ramsay
1:35 p.m. No. 8 Branden Grace No. 9 Robert Garrigus

 

Gary Player Quarter

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Tee Time (ET) Player Player
10:25 a.m. No. 3 Jason Dufner No. 14 Richard Sterne
10:35 a.m. No. 6 Hunter Mahan No. 11 Matteo Manassero
11:45 a.m. No. 2 Lee Westwood No. 15 Rafael Cabrera-Bello
11:55 a.m. No. 7 Martin Kaymer No. 10 George Coetzee
1:05 p.m. No. 4 Webb Simpson No. 13 David Lynn
1:15 p.m. No. 5 Peter Hanson No. 12 Thomas Bjorn
2:25 p.m. No. 1 Tiger Woods No. 16 Charles Howell III
2:35 p.m. No. 8 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano No. 9 Francesco Molinari

 

Sam Snead Quarter

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Tee Time (ET) Player Player
9:45 a.m. No. 3 Ian Poulter No. 14 Stephen Gallacher
9:55 a.m. No. 6 Bo Van Pelt No. 11 John Senden
11:05 a.m. No. 2 Adam Scott No. 15 Tim Clark
11:15 a.m. No. 7 Jamie Donaldson No. 10 Thorbjorn Olesen
12:25 p.m. No. 4 Steve Stricker No. 13 Henrik Stenson
12:35 p.m. No. 5 Nick Watney No. 12 David Toms
1:45 p.m. No. 1 Luke Donald No. 16 Marcel Siem
1:55 p.m. No. 8 Paul Lawrie No. 9 Scott Piercy

 

Predictions

Semifinal No. 1: Rory McIlroy vs. Justin Rose

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

McIlroy's versatile game is perfect for this type of tournament. If he needs to use power to gain the advantage, he can do it. If the matchup calls for more finesse, he can do that too. It also helps that he's in a quarter with several inconsistent top players, such as Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson.

Rose is in the most wide-open quarter. He's one of at least six players capable of winning it. His form has been solid in the early portion of the season with a second-place finish in Abu Dhabi and a cumulative score of minus-23 in his first two events of 2013.

Ultimately, I like McIlroy's chances of getting back to the final. Even though he's still adapting to his new Nike equipment, the extra practice time should have him ready to roll. He's got the ideal skill set to make another deep run.

 

Semifinal No. 2: Tiger Woods vs. Ian Poulter

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Woods is coming off a victory in the Farmers Insurance Open. He sputtered down the stretch of that tournament, but he had built such a massive lead that it didn't matter. Woods still needs a major to complete the comeback, but it's easy to see he's nearing top form.

In order to beat Tiger in an event like this, it takes a player who genuinely believes he can go shot for shot with Tiger. Poulter has nerves of steel, as he illustrated during the Ryder Cup last year, and he is one player who would thrive under the spotlight.

Poulter won this event back in 2010 and won a European Tour version of it in 2011, so he clearly understands how to handle the match-play aspect. Woods has a much tougher road to this point and could be worn down a bit by the semifinals, allowing Poulter to advance.

 

Who's your tournament pick?

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Champion: Ian Poulter

In a matchup between McIlroy and Poulter, the Northern Irishman would enter as the favorite. If he reaches the championship match it means he's found a comfort zone with his clubs, and he would be looking to reverse last year's loss in the final.

That said, Poulter has a lot of things going for him too. He has had plenty of success in match play, he finished ninth in his first start of the season and he should be well rested after more than a month off. He also has proven his ability in big moments.

Although fans would probably be disappointed that the McIlroy vs. Woods match didn't materialize, this match would be capable of providing just as much excitement. In the end, don't be shocked if Poulter earns the victory after a hard-fought final.

 

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