Memorial Tournament

Muirfield Village Golf Club

The Loop

Don't blame Tiger

February 26, 2009

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