Tiger Woods' loss to Tim Clark on Thursday was less to do with Woods' eight months of inactivity than the fickle nature of match play. There was a reason the PGA Tour abandoned the format it once employed previously in Tucson (the Seiko-Tucson Match Play Championship).
When each round matters more than the collective 72 holes of a stroke-play tournament, upsets are inevitable. Over 72 holes, Woods presumably will beat Clark most of the time. Over 18 holes, it's hit and miss. And so, after an over-the-top buildup surrounding Woods' return to competitive golf, the WGC-Accenture Match Play has gone flat and likely will remain so, despite compelling story lines that might pan out -- Mickelson winning back to back or Rory McIlroy, 19, possibly reaching the final.
In the mean time, spare us the what's-wrong-with-Tiger stories.
-- John Strege