So this was quite a sad weekend for many golfers disappointed by Tiger’s early dismissal from the Accenture Championship. I don’t think I was the only one who was surprised to see Tiger taken out by 34th ranked South African golfer Tim Clark in the second round, especially after Tiger made an amazing bunker shot on the 14th to set him up for birdie, and possibly the infamous Tiger Woods late game come-back. Unfortunately an Out of Bounds tee shot on the 15th smashed any hopes of coming back, and Clark went on to win with a score of 4-and-2. Clark went only as far as round three, losing to 19 year old Rory McIlroy in a 4-and-3 finish.

The tournament finished on Sunday with Geoff Ogilvy beating Paul Casey in a 4-and-3 finish. I have some conflicting views about whether I am happy or sad about this. Geoff Ogilvy is a great golfer, and has proved to be an excellent match player as well. He currently has an 18-3 match play record, and has been in the championship round of the Accenture tournament in three of the past four years (now winning twice). It was no surprise that he made it as far as he did, my only problem is that e took out two people I would have preferred to be watching on Sunday. In round three, Ogilvy took out Camillo Villegas, who was having an excellent start to the tournament, with a 7-and-6 first round victory, and a 5-and-4 second round victory. In round four, Ogilvy took out Rory McIlroy, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite golfers, but more on that in a bit. Overall, it was a well deserved win for Ogilvy but we’ll see what sort of game he brings to tournament play in two weeks after this match play victory.

Early Upsets
An early upset (although not in the least bit surprising) was Mike Weir’s first round departure. Mike Weir was seeded in probably the toughest bracket with the likes of Tiger Woods, Geoff Ogilvy, and Camillo Villegas to name a few, so it was just a matter of time. I would have liked to see Mike make it a bit further to represent Canada a little better, but oh well… maybe next time…maybe. Stephen Ames made it past the first round and gave Canada some hope of having one of their own making it, but that dream was quickly smashed down in round two when one of the few ranked lower than him, Peter Hanson (ranked 10 behind Ames at the 52nd spot), took him out in a 4-and-2 victory.

The biggest upset in my mind was Phil Mickelson making it past the first round. Now I wasn’t thinking he actually would be kicked out the first round, but it was the fact that he was ALMOST kicked out after having a 4-point lead with only five holes left. 14th hole and 3-up. 15th hole and 2-up. 16th hole and only 1-up. And sure enough, after the 17th hole it was all squared up. HA! What a loser. This was the first time ever where listening to golf got borderline exciting because one of the highest ranked golfers in the world was about to be kicked out in the first round after having a 4-point lead with 5-to-go. That’s amazing. But unfortunately the round went to the 19th hole, where Mickelson went 1-up again and won the round. Still, it was funny while it lasted.

Who to Watch
Tiger did come out with a strong start but was making silly mistakes that ultimately lead to him being eliminated, but I still feel it’s early in his return to make any assumptions. Also, returning to match play is tough and few players actually look forward to a match play tournament, so judging him based on this performance would be unfair. That being said, match play is difficult, so Ogilvy will be an obvious choice to watch in future tournaments.

My choice for who to watch this season is Rory McIlroy. The reason for this is because he’s young, and he’s good. At just 19, he’s keeping up with the big boys and making a name for himself. I won’t be surprised to see more top-10 finishes by him this year and I will continue to grow more and more jealous of him. Three years younger than me, and he is well on his way on the TOUR. I not only expect, but demand big things from him, because I am allowed to demand things of PGA golfers.

And finally, my own personal award for this tournament is goofiest smile, awarded to Geoff Ogilvy holding the trophy.