Match Play: It's official: Tiger will be in Tucson

But Snedeker, Mickelson out; Jacobson, Lowry in
2013-02-13T00:00:00Z Match Play: It's official: Tiger will be in TucsonDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 13, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Tiger Woods hasn't won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship since 2008. He's won just one match at the Golf Club at Dove Mountain since 2010 and hasn't brought home a major tournament title in five years.

But no one moves the needle like Tiger.

Woods confirmed Tuesday morning on his website that he will play in next week's Match Play championship.

"His commitment means so much for everyone involved," said Judy McDermott, the executive director of the Tucson Conquistadores. "We believed he was always going to commit, but it's great to know it's official.

"Now, all we have to do is get him to Sunday."

This year marks Woods' third straight appearance on Dove Mountain. He lost in the second round to Nick Watney last year and was bounced in the first round in 2011 by Thomas Bjorn. Woods skipped the event in 2010 when he was dealing with off-the-course issues.

That's the only time he has missed the event since it moved to Tucson in 2007.

"Every year when he commits, we get a spike in people buying tickets," said Gerald Goodman, the tournament's executive director. "People want to come watch Tiger play."

Woods is currently ranked No. 2 in the world behind Rory McIlroy. He won the last tournament he played in, last month's Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego.

The 37-year-old has won four tournaments (Arnold Palmer Invitational, The Memorial, AT&T National and Farmers Insurance) since last year's Match Play, when he was ranked 18th in the world.

Still, Woods will be looking to regain some of the magic he used to have at Match Play. Woods has won the event three times (2003, 2004 and 2008) and was the runner-up in 2000. He has played in a record 42 matches at Match Play, winning 33. His 78.5 percent winning percentage is best among all golfers to play in the event.

"It's kind of sad that one golfer means so much to the tournament, but that's the case with him," McDermott said.

The tournament gained Woods on Tuesday but lost Brandt Snedeker, who is ranked No. 4 in the latest world golf rankings.

Snedeker withdrew from the tournament because of a rib injury. He won last weekend's AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, but aggravated the injury in the process.

His exit means Fredrik Jacobson, ranked No. 66, is now in the field.

Phil Mickelson, ranked No. 10, previously announced he'll skip Match Play to spend time with his family, opening the door for No. 65 Shane Lowry, who could now draw Woods in the first round.

With Snedeker and Mickelson pulling out, 62 of the world's 64 best golfers are expected to participate. Golfers have until Friday afternoon to officially commit. First-round pairings will be announced Monday.

If you go

• What: WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship

• Where: Golf Club at Dove Mountain

• When: Feb. 20-24

• Tickets: Buy at Bashas'; call 520-571-0400 or go to: www.worldgolfchampionships.com/accenture-match-play-championship/tickets.html

Tiger's Match Play History

Tiger Woods announced his commitment to the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Tuesday. Here's a look at how he has fared at Match Play since it moved to Tucson.

Year Seed Result

2012 5 Lost in second round

2011 1 Lost in first round

2010 Did not play

2009 1 Lost in second round

2008 1 Won championship

2007 1 Lost in third round

Contact reporter Daniel Berk at dberk@azstarnet.com or 573-4330. On Twitter @DSBerk.

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