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New course will test world’s best

Citizen Staff Writer



The new Jack Nicklaus-designed Ritz-Carlton Golf Course at Dove Mountain will greet the world’s top 64 pros with a bit of mystery when practice begins Monday for the Accenture Match Play Championship.

No. 1 seed Tiger Woods and the rest of the field will encounter a longer course with deeper-cut bunkers and trickier greens than its Marana neighbor, The Gallery, which hosted the tournament in 2007 and 2008.

The greens at Ritz-Carlton may be a little larger, but they should have more movement.

“The greens are going to test everyone,” said Australian Geoff Ogilvy. “The course is very long, suited probably better to the tournament than the other one across the road.”

Ogilvy, who lives in Scottsdale, is comfortable with the desert course theme and is familiar to Tucson fans. He won the Tucson Open in 2001 and took the 2007 Match Play title at The Gallery.

The 7,849-yard Ritz-Carlton is nearly 400 yards longer than the Gallery. The “RC” has some roomy fairways, and that will be OK with Ogilvy and the growing cast of big hitters who are in the field.

“We play a lot of long courses now,” he said. “We’re up a little bit here (3,000-foot altitude), so 7,800 yards is going to play a little shorter than that. We play so many long courses now that I think we’re kind of used to seeing these crazy numbers on the scorecard, these long par-4s.”

As pros hit longer, the courses get longer. The No. 11 hole at Ritz-Carlton is 659 yards, requiring golfers to tee off into an open area to a dogleg, which makes the distant flag look as if it’s in the next county.

“It’s intimidating when you look at it,” Ogilvy said, “but when you get out and play it and see it hole by hole, you forget about the length and get on to playing the hole in front of you.”

The presence of Woods adds impetus to the pros, who haven’t had the privilege of competing against him since last summer. Woods, who underwent left knee surgery in June, inspires long hitters and short hitters, too.

The latter group worries Ogilvy the most.

“The guys who look like they’re going to make bogeys – they always feel hard to beat,” Ogilvy said. “Those guys can putt really well and make six-footers for par. They always hit the fairway and never hit a bad shot.

“They’re tougher than the guy who might make three birdies, but then might hit in the desert three holes in a row.”

Ritz Carlton layout will test world’s best in Match Play

Continued from 1C


When: Monday-Tuesday (practice). Wednesday-Sunday (play)

Where: Marana’s Ritz-Carlton Golf Course at Dove Mountain

Tickets: 571-0400, or www.worldgolfchampionships.com

Purse: $8.5 million (winner gets $1.35 million)



Monday: Practice for pros until 6 p.m. Tickets: $25. Pro-Am, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Practice for pros, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Tickets: $25.

Wednesday: First round, 32 matches (tickets, $45); tee times, 7:40 a.m.-12:34 p.m. TV: Noon-4 p.m. (live), 5:30-9:30 p.m. (tape), Golf Channel

Thursday: Second round, 16 matches (tickets, $45); tee times, 9:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. TV: Noon-4 p.m. (live), 6:30-9:30 p.m. (tape), Golf Channel

Friday: Third round, 8 matches (tickets, $45); tee times, 10:50 a.m.-12:14 p.m. TV: Noon-4 p.m. (live), 6:30-9:30 p.m. (tape), Golf Channel

Saturday: Quarterfinals; tee times, 7:38-8:14 a.m. TV: 8 a.m.-noon (live), Golf Channel. Semifinals; tee times, 12:05-12:20 p.m. TV: Noon-4 p.m. (live), NBC

Sunday: 36-hole championship. First 18 starts at 7:40 a.m. Second 18 starts at 12:20 p.m. TV: 8 a.m.-noon, Golf Channel; noon-4 p.m., NBC. Consolation match begins at 12:05.


One hospitality package is sold out, but single-day passes and another hospitality offering are available. Call 571-0400 or go to worldgolfchampionships.com for information.


Monday: High 85, cloudy

Tuesday: High 85, mostly sunny

Wednesday: High 84, mostly sunny

Thursday: High 78, partly sunny

Friday: High 79, partly sunny

Saturday: High 80, mostly sunny

Sunday: High 80, partly cloudy

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