The first World Golf Championship of the 2013 season returns to The Ritz Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, in Marana, Ariz., and its Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, when the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship begins play today for 64 of the best players in the world. Located just outside of Tucson, Dove Mountain has hosted the Accenture Match Play Championship since 2009. Play gets underway with 32 first-round matches, highlighted by No. 1 seeds Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Luke Donald and Justin Rose—ranked Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5, respectively, in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).
The event is the only official match-play event on the PGA TOUR schedule. A field of 64 players, 43 of whom are international, will take on Jack’s design in the lush Sonoran Desert. The 27-hole facility integrates strategy, variety and beauty, with elevation changes ranging from 2,300 to 3,000 feet.
“The courses at The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain began with a nice piece of property,” Jack Nicklaus said. “Interestingly, the best part of the property was the 9 holes they decided not to use for the Accenture Match Play because they could not put gallery on it. But that was arguably the most exciting piece on which to work. The other two nines that we did there—the courses they played the tournament on—both turned out very nicely. I put a little bit more spice in the greens there, simply because it was going to be a match-play golf tournament. It might have been a little bit more spice than I probably should have put, but we went back and softened some of the contours and created a few more pinnable areas.
“I think the golf courses play very well, and have produced good champions. Most important, the members enjoy the golf courses and I think are fun golf courses to play.”
The Accenture Match Play Championship is the first in a series of four World Golf Championships events in 2013. The other World Golf Championships include the Cadillac Championship (Doral, Fla.), the Bridgestone Invitational (Akron, Ohio) and the HSBC Champions (Shanghai, China).
Viewers can tune in to watch the Accenture Match Play Championship Wednesday, February 20, Thursday, February 21, and Friday, February 22 from 12:00-6:00 p.m. ET on the Golf Channel. Saturday, February 23, the event will air from 12:00-2:00 p.m. on the Golf Channel and from 2:00-6:00 p.m. on NBC. The tournament will air on Sunday, February 24, from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on the Golf Channel and from 2:00 -6:00 p.m. on NBC. All times are Eastern Standard Time.
The full field includes:
|1||Rory McIlroy||No. Ireland|
|6||Louis Oosthuizen||So. Africa|
|16||Charl Schwartzel||So. Africa|
|19||Graeme McDowell||No. Ireland|
|23||Bo Van Pelt||USA|
|24||Ernie Els||So. Africa|
|29||Branden Grace||So. Africa|
|41||George Coetzee||So. Africa|
|55||Richard Sterne||So. Africa|
|58||Rafael Cabrera Bello||Spain|
|59||Tim Clark||So. Africa|
|64||Charles Howell III||USA|