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How To Fill Out Your Match Play Bracket: A Refresher

Editor's Note: This post first appeared on Feb. 22, 2013.

By Sam Weinman

After so many upsets in the first round of the Accenture World Match Play Championship, you may think there's no rhyme or reason to who wins these things. Quite the contrary! There is in fact a formula for determining a match's outcome. It's just not the one you'd expect.

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(Photo by Getty Images)

Below we provide our basic guidelines for the next time you fill out your bracket.

1. If there's a golfer you have never heard of before this week, he will likely win.

2. If a golfer comes into the week enjoying a "hot start to the season," he will lose.

Related: Golf Digest's all-time match play "Dream Team"

3. The guy who is in worse physical condition is a lock.

4. Always take the guy with the belly putter. If it's two guys with a belly putter, take the guy in worse shape.

5. If at any point analysts cite a golfer's "impressive match play record," that guy will lose. Unless that guy is Ian Poulter.

6. If a guy was a late addition to the field by virtue of Phil Mickelson going on vacation with his kids, he will win at least one match.

7. Always take the plucky European player over the American. Unless he's a plucky European player with "an impressive match play record." Again, exceptions are made for Ian Poulter.

Related: Dove Mountain among the least-favorite PGA Tour courses

8. If it's two Americans, take the guy who is considered the worse putter.

9. Also, give the edge to a guy who has any of the following:

-- A hyphen in his last name.

-- The guy with the more garish assortment of logos on his shirt.

-- An inordinate number of vowels and/or consonants in his last name.  

-- A painter's cap.

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