Golf Digest - With the Masters looming, golf’s top players are doing whatever it takes to get ready for Augusta National. Even if that means skipping high-profile events in the coming weeks.
While some pros are choosing to bypass next week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational—to the consternation of others—other events are also seeing highly-ranked golfers bowing out. Earlier this week, Henrik Stenson said he was skipping the WGC-Dell Match Play. So too is Justin Rose…
Instead of playing the Match Play, Rose will play the Shell Houston Open the week prior to the Masters. The last time he played in the event, 2015, he came back to finish tied for second at Augusta behind Jordan Spieth.
I think Rory said it best when discussing the Olympics: golfers grow up dreaming of winning Major Championships. It appears more and more golfers are adjusting their schedules to do so.
Personally, I have no qualms with Rose and Stenson pulling out of the Dell Match Play. Let’s be real, this is a match play format event that’s taking place a few short weeks before The Masters. Not to mention, if you make the final rounds of the Dell, that’s eight total matches/rounds of golf over five days. Have you every tried playing eight rounds in five days? I mean I love golf, but no thanks.
In my opinion, I don’t really think the best way to prep for quite possibly the biggest stroke play event of the year is by playing eight rounds of match play, but hey, I’m no professional. They are two completely different formats that are approached with completely different mindsets with vastly different game plans. I agree with the European buddies in opting out of this one, even if the fans are hoping to see the top-64 players in the world that week. Want to make sure they don’t start pulling out of a “big” event like this to rest for a Major? Change the Tour schedule.