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Accenture Match Play Championship

Golf world's best flock to Dove Mountain

World's top 64 golfers compete this week

The golf world is focused on southern Arizona again this week as the game's best from around the globe gather in Marana for the Accenture Match Play Championship.

Practice rounds started Monday at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain, and play gets under way Wednesday in the five-day tournament that invites the world's 64 top-ranked golfers for head-to-head competition.

Last year's winner Ian Poulter is in the field, as are a host of the game's best including Tiger Woods, former University of Arizona alum Jim Furyk and Arizona favorite Phil Mickelson.

The field is studded with more than 30 foreign players, including Australian Geoff Ogilvy, who won in 2009, Paul Casey, the runner-up in 2009 and again last year, and the youngest player ever in the tournament, Italian Matteo Manassero, who is 17.

Twenty-three players are under age 30, pulling the average age down to 32 for the youngest Match Play field ever.
Tickets for Tuesday - the last day of practice and the last day cameras are allowed - are $35 at the gate. Gate admission goes up to $55 for Wednesday-Friday, then back to $45 for Saturday and Sunday. A weekly pass is $125.
See www.pgatour.com for complete ticket information.

The Sonoran Desert will offer typical winter glory for tournament, with temperatures in the mid 60s to lower 70s all week.

A front expected by the weekend could offer a chance for showers and a possible high in the 40s on Sunday, but a hard freeze like the one that pushed the Waste Management Phoenix Open into a fourth day of play is not expected. Dress for weather, if you plan to go for early morning matches. The National Weather Service is calling for lows in the upper 30s and low 40s all week.

sports, golf, PGA, accenture, marana


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B. Poole/TucsonSentinel.com

Stewart Cink warms up Monday at the Accenture Match Play Championship. Cink comes into the tournament ranked 53rd.