Paul Casey’s imminent withdrawal from Doral might give George Coetzee a chance to be in the field
PGA Tour season is warming up for the first high profile event on the calendar, the WGC Accenture Match Play event in Doral, Tucson, Arizona.
The 64-man field event is considered as one of the best Match Play events on both sides of the Atlantic and features one of the strongest fields in the format.
Englishman Paul Casey has been off-course for the last two months after a gruesome shoulder injury in a snowboarding accident.
He was advised an extended rest by the doctors and although his rehab tenure is far from over, Casey is likely to make an appearance in the coveted event.
Casey’s swing coach, Peter Kostis, said Monday, “Right now we are still shooting for the Match Play”.
The 34-year-old Englishman has a stellar record in the knock-out format and has done well in the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship earlier in his career.
Although he was never able to go all the way to the top, Casey has two runner-up finishes in consecutive years, 2009 and 2010.
He also won the HSBC Match Play event in 2006 and is currently ranked 23rd on the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR).
Meanwhile, Pebble Beach Pro-Am winner, Phil Mickelson has already announced that he will not be participating in the event at Doral and is headed out on yet another vacation with his family and kids.
In case Casey decides to follow Mickelson, it will give the aspiring George Coetzee a chance to make his first appearance in the star-studded event.
The young South African has done remarkably well at the start of the season and has pulled in some stunning performances earlier in the season to rise up the OWGR.
He has not won a European Tour title as yet but has shot in contention several times during the lasts season.
Coetzee will be hoping to make his move amid the grizzled field, utilising the unpredictable nature of the Knock-out format.
Coetzee is ranked number 66th on the OWGR and has pulled strong finishes on the opening European Tour events in South Africa.
Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Champion, Robert Rock has also made it into the field and will be playing at Doral for the first time in his career.
A surprise winner in Emirates, Rock has been part of the European Tour for several years, playing as an affiliate member and won his first European Tour title in 2010 and has remained in contention in several of the following events.
He took over the former world number one Tiger Woods in the final round.
World number one Luke Donald will be returning to defend his title he won last year.
Donald’s victory earlier in the season in 2011 helped him set up what later proved to be the launching pad for one of the most celebrated season in his career.
He not only surged to the top of the OWGR but was able to close the season on top of both the money lists.