Get your bracket ready. The WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship, the most unique of the WGC events, returns next week.
There’s a new format designed to keep the game’s best around for more of the tournament. Instead of single-elimination from the start, the event now features a round of pool play with the top points-earner from each of 16 groups advancing to the more familiar bracket.
There will be two notable absences from the star-studded field this year: Phil Mickelson will skip the event for personal reasons and Tiger Woods failed to qualify. Still, the field features the top 64 OWGR players (and alternates) and should be a fun watch with the TPC Harding Park as the backdrop and antagonist.
But before we get too far into next week, let’s hit the links.
Hole #1: April Showers Bring Up Rose
Justin Rose took the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at 22-under with a birdie on the 72nd hole. Observing Stephen Curry in the NBA playoffs may have helped him to the win. [Link]
Hole #2: Ko Turns 18, Celebrates with Win
Lydia Ko turned 18 on Friday and was bested on the course that day by 17-year-old Brooke Henderson. On Sunday Ko got her due though, making birdie on 18 to beat Henderson by a stroke and to get into a playoff with Morgan Pressel at -8. Ko successfully defended her Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic title with a birdie on the second playoff hole. [Link]
Hole #3: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble
Rory McIlroy is into having a rival in Jordan Spieth. He feels the competition could elevate both player’s games. This could be fun. [Link]
Hole #4: Who Won? Wu Won
The Chinese Open had a Chinese winner this week. Wu Ashun shot 9-under for his first win on the European Tour. [Link]
Hole #5: Father of the Year
An American father became a Belgian citizen to help his son’s golf career. [Link]
Hole #6: Andrade and Durant Win
The Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf might be the quintessential Champions Tour event. After all, they play a 9-hole par-3 course (like those found all over Florida retirement communities) and many of the competitors would rather be fishing. And, somehow, that makes it a lot of fun. [Link]
Hole #7: Things to Do When the TV Dies
If you hate hitting over water, this is not the course for you. [Link]
Hole #8: Spieth Presents ACM Award
Following his Masters victory (and strong performance at Hilton Head), Jordan Spieth jetted back to Dallas and announced Miranda Lambert as the Female Vocalist of the Year. [Link]
Hole #9: Vonn Opens Up about Watching Golf
Lindsey loves watching her beau play golf. No really. [Link]