Sergio Garcia has an interesting match-up in the first round of The WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship when it gets started on Wednesday morning at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Golf Resort. If you haven’t been keeping an eye on the European Tour this spring, you are probably not familiar with Tongchai Jaidee, but if you get a chance to watch, you will find that the 42 year old from Lop Buri, Thailand can play the game.
Other than a poor finish at The Omega Dubai Desert Classic where he fell off during the weekend, and finished tied for 64th place, Jaidee has not finished out of the top ten since he posted a tenth place tie at the UBS Hong Kong Open in November. He finished T 7 at the season finale at The DP World Tour Championships, a third place finish at The Volvo Championships on the Sunshine Tour. He picked up a pair of T 9′s on the desert swing at Abu Dhabi, and Qatar. He has done everything but get a win this spring.
Jaidee has five wins on the European Tour with his last coming at The ISPS Handa Wales Open last year. He is currently in 16th place in The Race to Dubai. Tongchai is averaging 282.2 yards off of the tee with a 59% accuracy. He is averaging 1.75 Putts Per Gir, and has a very good short game.
Sergio Garcia has seen a resurgence in his game since switching to the claw grip on his putter. He finished with a T 13 last week at the Northern Trust Open, and has had a good spring in Africa. He ended the 2012 European season T 9 at Dubai in November, and returned to the Desert Classic to finish T 7. He picked up a sole second place finish at The Qatar Masters.
With the putter grip change coming before the FedEx Cup playoffs, Garcia picked up a win at The Wyndham in the first of the playoff tournaments, and had a quality third place finish at The Barclay’s. He faded down the stretch, and finished T 15 at the Tour Championship. Sergio was a huge part of Team Europe’s success at Medinah in September.
This is another great match-up for round one. Tongchai Jaidee will give the Spaniard all he wants, but I think Garcia has too much fire power, and should win this match. Garcia is seeded 3rd in The Ben Hogan Division, and Jaidee is seeded 14th.
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