Memorial Tournament

Muirfield Village Golf Club

The Loop

What if?

February 21, 2009

What if Tiger Woods were to lose his first-round match to Brendan Jones in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship next week? Weeks (or months) of incessant speculation on when he might return, followed by the announcement heard round the golf world on Thursday afternoon, has set up the possibility of a letdown the likes of which the sport perhaps has never known.

Were Woods not to survive the first round, there is a strong likelihood that the Match Play Championship over the ensuing five days would hold less interest than were Woods not to have played at all.

That said, the idea that Jones could deliver such an upset seems farfetched, despite Woods' extended absence from the game. He won the U.S. Open on one leg, after all.

-- John Strege