With the first WGC event of the season just two days away, here are some facts and figures about the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship to whet the appetite…
• There will be 33 European Tour Members competing in the 2014 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, seven of whom will be making their debuts in the event. They are: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Jonas Blixt, Victor Dubuisson, Mikko Ilonen, Pablo Larrazábal, Joost Luiten and Bernd Wiesberger. It will be Dubuisson’s maiden WGC appearance.
• Of all the WGC events, the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship has been the most successful for European Tour Members, producing five different winners. They are: Darren Clarke (2000), Henrik Stenson (2007), Geoff Ogilvy (2009), Ian Poulter (2010) and Luke Donald (2011).
• The total number of European Tour Members to have competed in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship since 1999 is 111.
• Matt Kuchar will be trying to follow in the footsteps of Tiger Woods (2003-2004) by making a successful defence of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Should he win for a second consecutive season, he would join Woods (2003-04, 08) and Geoff Ogilvy (2006 and 2009) as the only players to win the event more than once.
• This event will begin the 16th year of World Golf Championship events. The first one was the 1999 Accenture Match Play Championship, won by American Jeff Maggert.
• This will be the 50th individual official WGC event. Previously there have been 15 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championships and 15 WGC-Bridgestone Invitationals, 14 WGC-Cadillac Championships and five WGC-Champions. (This figure does not include the 2001 WGC-Cadillac Championship which was cancelled and the WGC World Cup between 2007-11).
• There are six former champions competing - Steve Stricker (2001), Henrik Stenson (2007), Ian Poulter (2010), Luke Donald (2011), Hunter Mahan (2012) and Matt Kuchar (2013).