The WGC-Accenture Match Play lost a lot of steam when Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, and Phil Mickelson all announced they would pass on one of the season's most unique events. They also lost the three players who would have probably had the top odds to win the first WGC event of the year.
Tiger is always the favorite, no matter where he tees it up and regardless of his recent form. Woods is the early favorite for tournaments months away, and usually the overwhelming favorite the week of a major championship. But with no Tiger, Adam, and Phil -- three guys who all would have been No. 1 seeds this week -- who rises to the top as the oddsmakers favorite?
Well, it shouldn't be a surprise that Tiger's Nike stablemate, Rory McIroy, assumes the role as favorite with 12/1 odds to play and win six matches to come on on top of the bracket. Henrik Stenson is the overall No. 1 seed, the highest ranked player in the world, but Rory is the much more public player and his game has been much improved since the end of the 2013 season. A WGC title, particularly in the match play format where he's not been great recently, would be enormous for Rory as he tries to rebound from a disastrous past year.
Right behind Rory are a couple No. 2 seeds in Dustin Johnson and Jason Day, who are both 15/1. A No. 8 seed, Hunter Mahan, is also right at the top at 20/1. While he has a much lower seed than the others, Mahan's track record here -- winner two years ago, runner-up last year -- always makes him dangerous at this event.
We'll be rolling out predictions for each sub-bracket and picks for every match, but here are odds to win it all, via the indispensable @GolfOdds:
|Miguel Angel Jimenez||125/1|
Sadly, 15 players did not get their odds to win it all and were cast into the ignominious "Field" category, which is 9/2.
Jeff Sherman also has the lines for all 32 first round matches at Dove Mountain, if you really want to take a March Madness-level deep dive on this thing.