Padraig Harrington faces a tough first round clash in next week’s WGC Accenture Match Play Championship - even if Francesco Molinari decides to withdraw.
The Italian says he is 60-40 in favour of playing after becoming a father for the first time recently and his participation would see Harrington face Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy, winner of the title in 2006 and 2009 and the beaten finalist in 2007.
After that it could be a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire. If Harrington beats Ogilvy he will then face the winner of the clash between Tiger Woods and Thomas Bjorn.
Graeme McDowell would face Heath Slocum with Rory McIlroy scheduled to meet Jonathan Byrd.
However, should Molinari pull out, Harrington would face young American star Nick Watney with McDowell and McIlroy taking on Australians Brendan Jones and Richard Green respectively.
Watney beat England’s Lee Westwood in the second round last year before going down to South Africa’s Retief Goosen.
McIlroy has the best recent record of the Irish trio, only losing to Ogilvy in the quarter-finals on his debut in 2009 before going out to England’s Oliver Wilson at the 20th in the second round last season.
Harrington has lost in the first round for the past two seasons while McDowell has only made it to the second round once, when he beat Darren Clarke on his debut at La Costa in 2005. He has lost in the opening round in each of his last three appearances, going down to Vijay Singh (2006), Zach Johnson (2009) and Luke Donald (2010).
WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship - Provisional draw (seeded positions in brackets):
(1) Lee Westwood v (64) Toru Taniguchi (32)
(32) Nick Watney v (33) Anthony Kim
(16) Retief Goosen v (49) KJ Choi
(17) Francesco Molinari v (48) Ryan Moore
(8) Steve Stricker v (57) Matteo Manassero
(25) Charl Schwartzel v (40) Ryo Ishikawa
(9) Luke Donald v (56) Charley Hoffman
(24) Edoardo Molinari v (41) Martin Laird
(4) Phil Mickelson v (61) Brendan Jones
(29) Rickie Fowler v (36) Peter Hanson
(13) Matt Kuchar v (52) Anders Hansen
(20) Louis Oosthuizen v (45) Bo Van Pelt
(5) Graeme McDowell v (60) Heath Slocum
(28) Robert Allenby v (37) Ross Fisher
(12) Ian Poulter v (53) Stewart Cink
(21) Alvaro Quiros v (44) YE Yang
(2) Martin Kaymer v (63) Noh Seung-yul
(31) Zach Johnson v (34) Justin Rose
(15) Robert Karlsson v (50) Hiroyuki Fujita
(18) Hunter Mahan v (47) Sean O’Hair
(7) Rory McIlroy v (58) Jonathan Byrd
(26) Adam Scott v (39) Ben Crane
(10) Jim Furyk v (55) Ryan Palmer
(23) Miguel Angel Jimenez v (42) Yuta Ikeda
(3) Tiger Woods v (62) Thomas Bjorn
(30) Geoff Ogilvy v (35) Padraig Harrington
(14) Dustin Johnson v (51) Mark Wilson
(19) Bubba Watson v (46) Bill Haas
(6) Paul Casey v (59) Richard Green
(27) Kim Kyung-tae v (38) Jason Day
(11) Ernie Els v (54) Jeff Overton
(22) Tim Clark v (43) Camilo Villegas