Most golf tournaments don't have a motto. The WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship does and it's not subtle: "Go on. Or go home."
A more appropriate motto for the WGC people might be: "Don't wait until Friday or you'll be watching Oliver and Charl."
In the first 48 hours of this Match Play event, four U.S. Open champions, four PGA winners, three Masters green-jacket wearers and (sob) ex-Wildcats Jim Furyk and Rory Sabbatini checked out of The Ritz-Carlton hotel and scattered.
We hardly got to know ye.
Since the Match Play titans moved to The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club last year, not a single bracket No. 1 seed has advanced to the round of 16. Two years. Two scrambled brackets. It had never happened in the first 10 years of the event.
There is no acceptable theory or explanation any more than you can explain Nick O'Hern eliminating Tiger Woods in 2005 and 2007 match-play skirmishes.
Stuff happens when you're playing golf at 7,852 yards and the sun gets in your eyes.
I defer to Stewart Cink in all matters match play. He is still dancing this week, and at 20-10 lifetime, has a win total surpassed only by Tiger and David Toms.
Cink did not arch an eyebrow when he looked at the brackets Thursday afternoon and noticed that Ernie Els, Geoff Ogilvy and Rory McIlroy would be on the next stage out of town.
"Don't even pay one bit of attention," Cink said. "This is not the Big Dance. This is 1 and 1A. Everybody is so close and even in this field that there's no George Mason."
There is, however, Oliver Wilson and Charl Schwartzel. They have played so well that they already qualify for a minimum of $140,000 each.
Inasmuch as CBS has booked 100 hotel rooms for the week (and has not yet gone on the air) you can be sure the tournament will not be canceled.
Those who closely follow golf, especially those who live in England - home of Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, Wilson and Luke Donald - are aware that their homeboys are among the world's leading golfers.
We Yanks would probably prefer David Duval and John Daly, both now occupied by the ongoing PGA event outside of Cancun. But those are the risks to which we agreed when the Tucson Conquistadores boldly walked into PGA Tour headquarters and stole the match-play event from Carlsbad, Calif.
This is a front-loaded event at which the optimum viewing days are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The trick is to get one of two or three recognizable faces into Saturday morning's elite group of eight. It's entirely possible that the not-so-elite-eight this year will be:
Jeev Milka Singh.
It's also possible that CBS will get eight weekend hours of Sergio Garcia and Camilo Villegas, which would move the ratings needle out of the dead zone. Moreover, if much-worshipped Japanese teenager Ryo Ishikawa continues to advance, there won't be enough space in the media center to accommodate the interest from the Pacific Rim journalists.
This sudden death format works splendidly in tennis, for example. Wimbledon shaves the field every day, as does match play, but the pool of available tennis stars is so shallow that the same four players usually wind up Sunday on Center Court.
Tennis never seems to get a Kevin Sutherland vs. Scott McCarron finale, as Match Play did in 2002.
The players embrace this format much more than fans. "I like it," Poulter said Thursday. "It gets your adrenaline flowing from the first tee. It's nice. Every shot, the clock is ticking and time is running out."
The fans: not so much.
Villegas on Thursday said that he has noticed diminished crowds at the Ritz. "There are fewer people here than last year, but we all know the answer to that," he said.
No Tiger, no Phil.
Wade Dunagan, executive director of Match Play, said ticket sales "parallel that of last year" and it's difficult to dispute him. Thursday's galleries were neither small nor subdued.
That's not bad for a Tiger-free field in a bumpy economy.
You should've heard the roar - and seen the rush to the next tee box - when McIlroy drained a 12-footer at the 18th hole Thursday, sending his match with Wilson to sudden death.
You don't get that in the second round of the Waste Management Open.
Tucson continues to treat Match Play week like the big event it is. Success lies not in the championship showdown between two survivors on Sunday, but on what gets put in the bank Tuesday through Friday.
Once again, the check should clear.