Expert picks: WGC-Accenture Match Play

Sergio Garcia is one of a handful of favorites this week at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

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The field is stacked and this is truly the "anything-can-happen" tournament of the year, as match play seems to even the playing field in golf.

With Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott taking the WGC-Accenture Match Play off, a bit of intrigue might be lost, but the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter should provide some drama worth watching.

If you need some help filling out your bracket, we've got an extensive cheat sheet here. We also have the complete tee times and pairings here, while also breaking down the course to see who might be a good fit at Dove Mountain.

Here's who our experts believe should rank highly on your radar this week:

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Jim McCabe, Senior Writer

Favorite: Zach Johnson

Don't forget about: Ian Poulter

Keep an eye on: Rory McIlroy

Sleeper: Scott Stallings

Comments: Then again, Zach Johnson will be playing out of the toughest bracket (Hunter Mahan, Graeme McDowell, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley). Poulter embraces this event like few others, McIlroy needs a win like this to jump-start him, and Stallings makes birdies in bunches.

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Jeff Rude, Senior Writer

Favorite: There is no favorite in this format, but for the purpose of the exercise: Hunter Mahan

Don't forget about: Ian Poulter

Keep an eye on: Jason Day

Sleeper: Stephen Gallacher

Comments: These picks represent one player from each quadrant of the bracket. Mahan plays well here, going 1-2 his last two years. . . . Poulter lights up in match play and holes demoralizing putts. . . . Day tied for second at recent Farmers Insurance Open. . . . Gallacher is in good form after a win this year in Dubai and eighth place at Abu Dhabi.

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Alex Miceli, Senior Writer

Favorite: Henrik Stenson

Don't forget about: Zach Johnson

Keep an eye on: Graeme McDowell

Sleeper: Harris English

Comments: Putting together my brackets, I was left with Henrik Stenson surviving to win. Of course one misstep in one bracket and the plans go out the window. Interested to see how Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker do, both new to the event, both playing very well. Also English has played well in 2014, but again its match play. I still expect a final with star power and not two no-names per se like Andrew Magee and Jeff Maggert as in 1999.

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Adam Schupak, Senior Writer

Favorite: Jordan Spieth

Don't forget about: Harris English

Keep an eye on: Hideki Matsuyama

Sleeper: Billy Horschel

Comments: Jordan Spieth is no stranger to going the distance at match play, having won the U.S. Junior twice. The competition will be stiffer at Dove Mountain, but his game has been strong enough all season that I could see him go on a run to the title. English could face McIlroy in round two, and I’m looking for the Georgia Bulldog to be a giant killer. Matsuyama has a tough route to the Final Four, but he’s my pick to win the Sam Snead division. At No. 40, Horschel qualifies as a sleeper. If he can get past a potential second-round match with Jason Day, I think he could run the table in his bracket.

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Lance Ringler, Senior Writer

Favorite: Sergio Garcia

Keep an eye on: Rory McIlroy

Don't forget about: Jason Day

Sleeper: Patrick Reed

Comments: Stay on the left side of the brackets. Sergio Garcia may not be able to find a way to win the big stroke-play events, but maybe he can string together some head-to-head wins and find himself with a chance to win this big event. Jason Day made a run in this event last year, and his current form is good. Obviously this is a different stage, but Patrick Reed went 6-0 in leading Augusta State to back-to-back NCAA Championships.

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Nick Masuda, Design Director

Favorite: Rory McIlroy

Keep an eye on: Jason Day

Don't forget about: Hunter Mahan

Sleeper: Stephen Gallacher

Comments: Yes, I know, nothing sexy about my favorite pick, as he's the favorite in Vegas too. But the kid looks like he has it together again, and I like him in one-on-one situations because blow-up holes don't really count against you. He's a birdie machine that isn't afraid of anyone. Day is another no-brainer pick in my mind, as he is destined to be a multi-major winner, and a guy that seems to rise to the challenge. Mahan has a great track record in this event and has been fairly hot lately. A win here could mean big things for him at the Ryder Cup later this year. Gallacher withstood playing with McIlroy and Tiger Woods last month, beating them both. Guy has guts and could be a darkhorse.

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