World Match Play Championship Victory for a Club-less Brandt Snedeker

In the opening round of Golf’s World Match Play Championship in Spain, American Brandt Snedeker managed to arrive at a 5&4 victory over Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn despite not having his own clubs.

In traveling from Florida to Finca Cortesin the number 7 seed lost his golf bag and was not able to lay his hands on it again until his round was already underway. By the time he was on the 4th tee he was allowed to take up his own sticks, but by the rules he was only able to select four of his clubs.

Already being 3 holes up against Bjorn by this point Snedeker did not seem too fussed, and he was reportedly very happy with playing in his training shoes, putting with a club he had bought in the pro shop and smacking a driver he had borrowed from Australian John Senden.

“The driver worked really well, so I think it’s mine now and no longer his [Senden’s]” he joked after the round.

There may not be many high rollers at this event, with world number 9 Martin Kaymer being the biggest fish, but there is plenty to think about as players go head to head.

Ian Poulter, who actually beat Senden, is defending his crown here and the Englishman is very outspoken about the value of such match play events.  Talking to the assembled press he made it obvious that he thinks that the round-robin, potential knock-out format in golf events like these bring out more fight in players. So much so that –perhaps motivated by the buzz growing in his home country –he wants to see match play being the format that golf adopts when it takes its return bow at the Rio Olympics, in 2016.

Stroke play is great, but you can see where Poulter is coming from: a shoot-out between two players is easier to sell to the global audience than a large field. There is more drama in it, and that is what the Olympics thrives on.