Tiger Woods goes after his second PGA TOUR victory in as many starts this week in the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz. Three weeks ago, he won the Farmers Insurance Open.
Woods, the second-ranked player in the world, is one of four top seeds in the tournament, along with Rory McIlroy (No. 1), Luke Donald (No. 3) and Louis Oosthuizen (No. 4). Tiger begins first-round play Wednesday at 2:25 p.m. ET against Charles Howell III.
Weather could be a factor. A winter storm warning is in effect Wednesday, with rain, high winds and possible afternoon snow in the forecast.
"Well, I guess we won't be working on our suntans," Woods cracked Tuesday.
Tiger is a three-time winner of the Accenture Match Play Championship (2003, 2004, 2008) and is the only player to win back-to-back titles. He owns the tournament record for matches played (42) and matches won (33), and has reached the finals four times. From 2003 through 2005, Woods captured a record 13 consecutive matches.
This marks Tiger's 13th start in the Accenture Match Play Championship. He has only lost in the first round twice previously, but has not advanced past the second round since 2008.
Woods has won a record 16 WGC events: the Bridgestone Invitational (1999-2001, 2005-07, 2009); the Accenture Match Play Championship (2003-04, 2008); and the Cadillac Championship (1999, 2002-03, 2005-07).
Although Woods and Howell are longtime friends, they have never faced each other in the Accenture Match Play Championship. The last time they competed head-to-head in this format was in the quarterfinals of the 1996 U.S. Amateur, which Tiger won.
Howell is 4-7 in seven prior starts and is making his first appearance since 2008. However, he is off to a strong start in 2013. Howell has made four of five cuts and has finished in the top 10 three times. He tied for third at the Sony Open, placed second in the Humana Challenge, where he lost in a playoff to Brian Gay, and tied for ninth at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Woods tuned up for the tournament by playing golf with President Barack Obama last Sunday at The Floridian Golf Club in Palm City, Fla. The two were partners against resort owner Jim Crane and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
Asked how he fared in the match, Woods smiled, "We won."
Woods first met Obama at the 2009 inauguration.
Asked who arranged the game, Woods said, "It was an invitation you don't turn down."
Tiger said Obama had no trouble keeping up with the group.
"He's quick," he said.