Tiger Woods gets round with Obama, awaits Match Play
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That's the key for anyone in match play.
Luke Donald has one of the best short games in golf, which explains why he won two years ago in the most dominant performance in the 14-year history of this event. Donald is the only player to have never reached the 18th hole in any of his matches.
As for the fickle nature of match play?
Donald didn't even make it out of the first round last year against Ernie Els.
Woods is coming off a four-shot win at Torrey Pines three weeks ago, after opening his 2013 season by missing the cut in Abu Dhabi.
He took an entire week off from golf, and then resumed practicing to get ready for a busy part of his schedule leading up to the Masters. This is the first of three straight tournaments for Woods, in which he would have a mathematical chance of going back to No. 1.
All 64 players in the field are so close in ability that there is no such thing as an upset in this event, not like a Grand Slam tennis event or the NCAA basketball tournament.
Howell is the No. 63 seed, though his stock has been improving. He began the year with three straight finishes in the top 10, which enabled him to go from outside the top 100 in the world and qualify for this elite tournament.
Woods and Howell were partners at the Presidents Cup for all four matches in 2003, and Woods used to practice with him when he lived in Orlando, Fla.
``You'd see him out there on the range and the putting green just grinding away,'' Woods said. ``His work ethic has never changed, never waned. He's out there working all the time. He's trying to get better. I admire guys who put in that kind of work. It's not easy to do, and he's implemented some swing changes over the years, but his tireless work ethic is something we all look up to.''
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