PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) - The draw for next week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Marana, Arizona was announced on Friday, pairing Tiger Woods with fellow American J.B. Holmes in the opening round.
World number one Woods, tournament champion in 2003 and 2004, is the top seed and will be bidding for his 63rd career title on the PGA Tour in the 64-player event.
American Woods, who won last month’s Buick Invitational before triumphing in the European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic the following week, will also be hunting his eighth victory in his last nine starts worldwide.
Twice Masters champion Phil Mickelson, American world number three Steve Stricker and fourth-ranked Ernie Els of South Africa are the top seeds in the other three groups.
Left-hander Mickelson, beaten by Holmes in a playoff for this month’s Phoenix Open, will launch his campaign against fellow American Pat Perez.
Stricker starts out against Swede Daniel Chopra, winner of the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship, and Els takes on American Jonathan Byrd in Wednesday’s first round at Dove Mountain’s Gallery Golf Club.
Holder Henrik Stenson of Sweden, who beat Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy 2&1 in last year’s final, will launch his title defence against Robert Allenby, also of Australia.
The opening World Golf Championships (WGC) event of 2008, being held at Dove Mountain for the second year in a row, was previously staged at La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, California.
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First round draw for the February 20-24 tournament (prefix numbers denote seedings):
1-Tiger Woods (U.S.) v 64-J.B. Holmes (U.S.)
32-Mike Weir (Canada) v 33-Arron Oberholser (U.S.)
16-Zach Johnson (U.S.) v 49-David Toms (U.S.)
17-Aaron Baddeley (Australia) v 48-Mark Calcavecchia (U.S.)
8-Rory Sabbatini (South Africa) v 57-Bradley Dredge (Britain)
25-Paul Casey (Britain) v 40-Robert Karlsson (Sweden)
9-K.J. Choi (South Korea) v 56-Camilo Villegas (Colombia)
24-Ian Poulter (Britain) v 41-Soren Hansen (Denmark)
4-Ernie Els (South Africa) v 61-Jonathan Byrd (U.S.)
29-Retief Goosen (South Africa) v 36-Andres Romero (Argentina)
13-Henrik Stenson (Spain) v 52-Robert Allenby (Australia)
20-Trevor Immelman (South Africa) v 45-Shingo Katayama (Japan)
5-Adam Scott (Australia) v 60-Brendan Jones (Australia)
28-Toru Taniguchi (Japan) v 37-Woody Austin (U.S.)
12-Sergio Garcia (Spain) v 53-John Senden (Australia)
21-Martin Kaymer (Germany) v 44-Boo Weekley (U.S.)
2-Phil Mickelson (U.S.) v 63-Pat Perez (U.S.)
31-Stuart Appleby (Australia) v 34-Tim Clark (South Africa)
15-Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) v 50-Justin Leonard (U.S.)
18-Lee Westwood (Britain) v 47-Brandt Snedeker (U.S.)
7-Justin Rose (Britain) v 58-Rod Pampling (Australia)
26-Scott Verplank (U.S.) v 39-Nick O’Hern (Australia)
10-Vijay Singh (Singh) v 55-Peter Hanson (Sweden)
23-Niclas Fasth (Sweden) v 42-Richard Green (Australia)
3-Steve Stricker (U.S.) v 62-Daniel Chopra (Sweden)
30-Richard Sterne (South Africa) v 35-Hunter Mahan (U.S.)
14-Angel Cabrera (Argentina) v 51-Anders Hansen (Denmark)
19-Luke Donald (Britain) v 46-Nick Dougherty (Britain)
6-Jim Furyk (U.S.) v 59-Colin Montgomerie (Britain)
27-Stephen Ames (Canada) v 38-Charles Howell III (U.S.)
11-Padraig Harrington (Ireland) v 54-Jerry Kelly (U.S.)
22-Stewart Cink (U.S.) v 43-Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spain)
Editing by Ed Osmond