MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP Rain delays start; Woods to defend
The first round will start on Thursday.
CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) -- This is shaping up as the Wet Coast Swing.
First, heavy rain at Riviera led to the first 36-hole event on the PGA Tour in nine years. On Tuesday, officials delayed the start of the Match Play Championship to give La Costa Resort a chance to drain.
The first round of 18-hole matches now will start Thursday, followed by two rounds each day through Saturday and the 36-hole final match Sunday.
"Whatever day we start, I'll be ready to go," two-time defending champion Tiger Woods said.
It was the latest twist in the West Coast Swing on the PGA Tour, which already has featured a fog delay at Torrey Pines, a wind delay in Phoenix and a total washout Saturday at the Nissan Open, which eventually led to the tournament being cut short to 36 holes when more rain fell Monday.
But the rearranged schedule in the Accenture Match Play Championship should be nothing new for Woods.
He barely got through the first round last year against John Rollins, then the second day of matches was postponed because of heavy rain that had water sprawling out of the banks in the ponds and creeks.
Woods and Davis Love III had to play two matches Friday and Saturday, then the 36-hole final in which Woods closed him out, 3 and 2.
"If you get all the way to the finals, it's a physical grind," Woods said Tuesday morning, before the announcement that the first round had been delayed. "Match play is an emotional roller coaster, because of the momentum switches that can happen in one hole, two holes."
There is no such thing as an upset at La Costa.
Last year was the first time in the six-year history of this World Golf Championship event that two of the top-four seeds made it to the last match.
Jeff Maggert won the first year as the No. 24 seed, followed by Darren Clarke (No. 19), Steve Stricker (No. 55) and Kevin Sutherland (No. 62). Woods won the last two years as the top seed, although he starts this time at No. 2.
Vijay Singh is the No. 1 seed and will play Shingo Katayama of Japan.
"He's a good player. I don't know how he's playing coming into this event, but I have to treat him very strong," Singh said. "I'm going to go out and see if I can play my game and play the best I can and see if I can finish it off."
Singh is coming off his first missed cut in a year, as defending champion at Pebble Beach. No one misses the cut from the 64-man field at La Costa, although this event has not been kind to the 41-year-old Fijian. He has never advanced out of the second round, even against a watered-down field in Australia four years ago.