Players ready for the unexpected at Dove Mountain

Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:35pm EST
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(Reuters) - Unpredictability is the abiding theme for this week's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona where every player in the 64-man field is prepared to expect the unexpected.

Because of the sheer lottery of the matchplay format, good form does not guarantee success in Wednesday's opening round and a player could easily be sent packing despite piling up a bunch of birdies in a bogey-free display.

"We know you can shoot 64 and someone else shoot 63 and you're going home," Swedish world number three Henrik Stenson told reporters at Dove Mountain on Tuesday.

"You can shoot 74 and you still squeeze by because the other guy is having a worse day than you are having.

"You've got to be able to squeeze by on the matches when you're not playing that well. Hopefully you'll win the ones where you're playing well. It's all about timing in that sense."

Stenson is the tournament's top seed with world number one Tiger Woods and second-ranked Australian Adam Scott opting not to play in the first of the year's four WGC events.

He said he felt no added pressure due to his elevated status.

"I don't think it makes a difference for me here," explained the 37-year-old Swede. "If you're going to have a good week, you need to play well.

"You need to have better luck on your side and it doesn't really matter if you're No. 1 seed or if you're No. 50 coming into this week."   Continued...