Matchplay would be better without La Costa; Duval watch continues


La Costa, one of those fine golf courses where power lines run through the property, is host to this week’s Accenture Matchplay event.
Things started badly enough when Ernie Els said he wasn’t going to bother coming. Then the rains came down, making the course a swamp.
The LA Times’ LA Thomas Bonk points out today that the course needs to be changed in an attempt to make this event relevent again.
The concept of matchplay is heightened by being played on a great golf course set up for such an event. Riviera would be a great example. In fact, a classic course would work wonderfully, because score isn’t the main aim — the whole point is to beat your opponent, not par. That means length isn’t the key issue and a great matchplay course must be full of interesting options. Do you go for the green on a short four or lay up? Try for that tough pin on a long three or hit to the center of the green? That’s what matchplay should be.
Oh well. The PGA Tour and Accenture seem to like La Costa — though apparently no one else really does.

* Duval watch: At the Tucson Open yesterday, David Duval not only broke 80, he managed to shoot in 60s! A three-under-par 69 to be clear. Today’s card is messier (two bogeys, a double bogey, three birdies in six holes), but David still has a chance to make the cut. I’m hoping he does – then I can stop my Duval watch!

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Jeff Lancaster

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