2012 WGC Match Play Primer

Even after filling out my bracket (Sergio, I take back all of the times I posted this video) and thinking about some of the excellent first round pairings, I'm having a hard time getting excited about Wednesday's WGC Match Play for the simple reason that is no fault of the good folks in Tucson: a remote desert course lined by cholla just isn't Pebble Beach and Riviera.

Now, predictions in golf are utterly useless. Who knows which player slept poorly? Got yelled at by his wife? Is thinking about firing his agent? Had a slight stomach reaction to the Chipotle he ate at the airport? Or all of the above, plus he secretly hates desert golf more than he lets on and can't wait to get home so he can vegetate in front of his Playstation for two weeks?

That said...

Jason Sobel previews the highlights for Wednesday play.

Jim McCabe and Alex Miceli make their first round predictions.

Randall Mell and Rex Hoggard make their predictions.

Steve Elling highlights eight match play specialists who've had success in the Accenture.

And in the Flashback department…

Here is Greg Hansen's story from last year on 2012 being the final year under contract for Dove Mountain and the likelihood that this is it for Tucson for an event.

And in a deep 2008 Flashback, here is Hansen's story about PGA Tour executives--including Commissioner Finchem--awaiting Jack Nicklaus to make a site visit for a golf course that finished second to last in Golf World's recent PGA Tour player course ranking. Still hard to believe how this one didn't work out. Jack trying to build match play greens, remote desert location, the Commissioner's vision bringing the entire thing together?

More importantly, should the match play leave Tucson, where should it go from here?