Match by match: Round 1 WGC-Accenture results

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 20, 2014, 12:13 am

One of golf's most exciting days didn't disappoint Wednesday at Dove Mountain. Here is how things stand after the opening round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship:

HOGAN BRACKET

Jimmy Walker (6) def. Branden Grace (11), 5 and 4: One of the hottest players in the world, Walker had little trouble with the South African, winning Nos. 3-5 – all of which Grace bogeyed – to take a comfortable lead he wouldn’t relinquish. Walker will face Fowler in the second round.

Rickie Fowler (14) def. Ian Poulter (3), 2 and 1: Fowler took a 3-up lead through seven holes, then hung on against the scrappy Poulter, who won here in 2010 and boasted a 22-11 record heading into this week. With a chance to send the match to the 18th, Poulter missed a 10-foot birdie putt. Fowler will play Walker in Round 2. 

Bill Haas (7) def. Miguel Angel Jimenez (10), 4 and 3: Haas erased three years of frustration with an emphatic beatdown of the Mechanic. Haas, who had lost in the first round each of the past three years, won Nos. 2 and 3 and never looked back. He’ll face Sergio Garcia in Round 2.

Charl Schwartzel (4) def. Kevin Stadler (13), 3 and 2: Schwartzel never trailed in his match against the Phoenix Open winner. The South African took control with back-to-back birdies on 14 and 15 to advance to the second round for the fifth time in six years. He’ll face Jim Furyk in Round 2.  

Sergio Garcia (2) def. Marc Leishman (15), 22 holes: The Spaniard escaped a first-round scare after making an 8-foot birdie on the fourth extra hole. Garcia should have been able to close out Leishman in regulation, but he made bogey from the edge of the green on 18. Nevertheless, Garcia, who has two wins in his last three starts, will face Bill Haas in Round 2. 

Jim Furyk (5) def. Chris Kirk (12), 2 and 1: Furyk dropped the first two holes, then ran off three wins in a row to take a lead he wouldn’t relinquish. The match-play veteran closed out the match with a 5-foot par putt on 17, advancing to the second round for the second year in a row. Now, he will face Charl Schwartzel in Round 2. 

Rory McIlroy (1) def. Boo Weekley (16), 3 and 2: McIlroy got bounced in the first round a year ago but wasn't about to repeat the feat on Wednesday, taking a 3-up lead at the turn. Weekley entered this week's event with injury concerns and ultimately was unable to keep the former world No. 1 from cruising into the second round.

Harris English (9) def. Lee Westwood (8), 5 and 3: English won earlier this season at Mayakoba and easily advanced past Westwood, who continues to search for his form after parting ways with Sean Foley earlier this month. English remains one of the game's hottest younger players and now will take on McIlroy in one of the most intriguing second-round matchups.


SNEAD BRACKET

Bubba Watson (3) def. Mikko Ilonen (14), 2 and 1: The Northern Trust Open winner had a back-and-forth battle, grabbing a 2-up lead through four holes before falling all the way to 2 down standing on 13 tee. From there, Watson won four of the next five holes to close out the match and keep alive his perfect first-round record. Watson will now face Jonas Blixt. 

Jonas Blixt (11) def. Keegan Bradley (6), 2 and 1: All square on 12 tee, the Swede won Nos. 12, 13 and 15 to drop the match-play dynamo and win the opener in his Match Play debut. Now, Blixt will face Watson in Round 2. 

Peter Hanson (15) def. Dustin Johnson (2), 4 and 3: Johnson, who hadn’t finished worse than sixth in four starts this season, is a first-round loser for the fifth time in six years. Hanson reached the quarterfinals here in 2012. Now, the big Swede will face Victor Dubuisson in Round 2. 

Victor Dubuisson (7) def. Kevin Streelman (10), 5 and 4: The Frenchman made quick work of the American in his Match Play debut. Streelman made five bogeys in his first-ever appearance at Dove Mountain. Now, Dubuisson will face Hanson in Round 2. 

Hideki Matsuyama (5) def. Martin Kaymer (12), 2 and 1: One down on 14 tee against the former world No. 1, Matsuyama ran off wins on 14 and 15 to hold on to a narrow victory in his Match Play debut. Now, he will face Gary Woodland in Round 2.

Graeme McDowell (4) def. Gary Woodland (13), 19 holes: G-Mac was 4 down through seven holes, and 3 down with three to play, only to stage an improbable comeback and rally to win his opening match in extra holes. Now, McDowell will face Matsuyama in Round 2. 

Richard Sterne (16) def. Zach Johnson (1), 5 and 4: Johnson entered as one of the hottest players around, but Sterne gained the upper hand as the former Masters champ made only two birdies all day long. As a result, the 16-over-1 upset that has yet to occur in college basketball once again rears its head at the year's first WGC event. Now, he will face Mahan in Round 2.

Hunter Mahan (8) def. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (9), 3 and 2: Mahan, who won here in 2012 and lost in last year’s finals, pulled ahead on the back nine with wins on Nos. 10 and 11, then sealed the victory with a birdie on 15. Now, he will face Richard Sterne in Round 2.  


JONES BRACKET

George Coetzee (14) def. Steve Stricker (3), 3 and 1: Stricker dug himself an early hole in his 2014 debut, as Coetzee won each of the first two holes and made the turn with a 3-up advantage. Stricker battled back down the stretch, trimming the deficit to 1 down through 14, but his missed birdie attempt at No. 17 sealed the upset win for the South African. Now, he will face Patrick Reed in Round 2.

Patrick Reed (11) def. Graham DeLaet (6), 1 up: This was one of the more closely contested matches of the morning session, as the lead was never more than 1 up after the sixth hole. Reed gained the upper hand with a par on the 17th, though, and held on as DeLaet's lengthy birdie try on the closing hole came up just short. He'll now face Coetzee Thursday in a matchup of two surprise winners.

Billy Horschel (10) def. Jamie Donaldson (7), 6 and 5: This one was seemingly over before it started. While the pair only played 13 holes, Horschel managed to win eight of them, including four of the first six. The American then turned a somewhat close match into a rout by winning four of five from Nos. 9-13. Now, he'll face Jason Day in Round 2.

Jason Day (2) def. Thorbjorn Olesen (15), 2 up: The Aussie got all he could handle from Olesen, who won Nos. 15 and 16 to square the match after Day appeared to take control. The final two holes went to Day, however, who flagged his approach to the final green to essentially put the match on ice. He'll now face Horschel in a second-round matchup pitting two of the game's rising stars.

Webb Simpson (5) def. Thongchai Jaidee (12), 3 and 2: Simpson faced an early deficit after losing two of the first four holes, but battled back against Jaidee and gradually regained an advantage thanks to consistent play. The former U.S. Open champ played 15 holes of bogey-free golf Thursday, and as a result moved rather easily into the second round. Now, he will face Brandt Snedeker in Round 2.

Brandt Snedeker (4) def. David Lynn (13), 20 holes: Snedeker played from behind the whole afternoon and appeared to be on his way out before winning two of the final five holes to force overtime. After the 19th hole was split, the former FedEx Cup champ saved par to eliminate Lynn on the second extra hole and set up a match with Simpson, his former partner from last year's Presidents Cup.

Henrik Stenson (1) def. Kiradech Aphibarnrat (16), 2 and 1: The No. 1 overall seed had a scare in Round 1, but powered through to the second round after pouring in a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 16 and tacking on an 8-foot birdie on 17. Stenson was 1 down with five to play before the late rally, appearing as if he might become the fourth No. 1 overall seed to lose in the past five years. Instead, he will face the winner of the Louis Oosthuizen-Nick Watney match in Round 2. 

Louis Oosthuizen (8) def. Nick Watney (9), 1 up: Oosthuizen won five straight holes during the middle of the match to turn the tide, but Watney did not go quietly. The American notched three straight birdies from Nos. 15-17 to force the match to the 18th tee, but a two-putt par from the former Masters champ on the final hole was enough to put an end to the rally.


PLAYER BRACKET

Thomas Bjorn (6) def. Francesco Molinari (11), 2 and 1: Bjorn won the first hole Wednesday and, while he never led by more than 2 up, he also never trailed in the match. Molinari trimmed the Dane's lead to 1 up with a birdie on No. 16 but Bjorn returned the favor on the following hole, knocking in a 20-footer to clinch the match. Now, he will face Jordan Spieth in Round 2.

Jordan Spieth (3) def. Pablo Larrazabal (14), 2 up: This pair halved eight of their first 10 holes, but Spieth took control by winning three across a four-hole stretch from Nos. 12-15. Larrazabal cut the deficit to 1 up heading to 18 but his tee shot found the sand, and his hopes were dashed when his approach shot caught the lip and stayed in the bunker. Now, he will face Bjorn in Round 2.

Matt Kuchar (2) def. Bernd Wiesberger (15), 3 and 2: The defending champ had to sweat a bit on the front nine, but Kuchar took command of the match by winning four straight holes from Nos. 9-12. He appeared to clinch the match on the 14th green but forgot to move his coin back, resulting in a loss of hole and sparing Wiesberger temporarily. Kuchar was able to seal the deal (again) two holes later to move on to Thursday, when he will face Ryan Moore.

Ryan Moore (7) def. Joost Luiten (10), 1 up: Moore never trailed and held a 3-up advantage through 13 holes, but still had to survive a Luiten comeback that fell just short when the Dutchman's 15-foot birdie try at 18 grazed the edge. Moore now advances to face Kuchar in the second round, a match that will pit a pair of former U.S. Amateur champs against each other.

Matteo Manassero (12) def. Luke Donald (5), 5 and 4: The young Italian schooled the former world No. 1 Thursday, winning five of the first 10 holes. Manassero held on from there, sending the former Match Play champ to a surprisingly early exit after Donald won only a single hole during the match. Manassero will now face Jason Dufner.

Jason Dufner (4) def. Scott Stallings (13), 19 holes: Dufner was very much on the brink of elimination, 3 down with five holes to play before staging an impressive comeback. The reigning PGA champ won three of four holes to move the match into overtime, then closed out Stallings on the first extra hole. He'll now face Manassero after advancing to the second round for the first time in three career starts at Dove Mountain.

Justin Rose (1) def. Scott Piercy (16), 1 up: The Englishman was 1 up heading into 18, then two-putted from 50 feet to hold off Piercy. Making just his second start of the season, Rose hasn’t advanced past the second round since 2007. Now, he will face Els in Round 2.

Ernie Els (8) def. Stephen Gallacher (9), 19 holes: Gallacher missed 5-foot putts on both 17 and 18 that would have won him the sloppily played match in regulation, then he bogeyed the first extra hole to hand the victory to Els. Now, the Big Easy will face Rose in Round 2. 

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Teenager Im wins Web.com season opener

By Will GrayJanuary 16, 2018, 10:23 pm

South Korea's Sungjae Im cruised to a four-shot victory at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, becoming just the second teenager to win an event on the Web.com Tour.

Im started the final day of the season-opening event in a share of the lead but still with six holes left in his third round. He was one shot behind Carlos Ortiz when the final round began, but moved ahead of the former Web.com Player of the Year thanks to a 7-under 65 in rainy and windy conditions. Im's 13-under total left him four clear of Ortiz and five shots ahead of a quartet of players in third.

Still more than two months shy of his 20th birthday, Im joins Jason Day as the only two teens to win on the developmental circuit. Day was 19 years, 7 months and 26 days old when he captured the 2007 Legend Financial Group Classic.

Recent PGA Tour winners Si Woo Kim and Patrick Cantlay and former NCAA champ Aaron Wise all won their first Web.com Tour event at age 20.

Other notable finishes in the event included Max Homa (T-7), Erik Compton (T-13), Curtis Luck (T-13) and Lee McCoy (T-13). The Web.com Tour will remain in the Bahamas for another week, with opening round of The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic set to begin Sunday.

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Mickelson grouped with Z. Johnson at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 16, 2018, 8:28 pm

He's not the highest-ranked player in this week's field, but Phil Mickelson will likely draw the biggest crowd at the CareerBuilder Challenge as he makes his first start of 2018. Here are a few early-round, marquee groupings to watch as players battle the three-course rotation in the Californian desert (all times ET):

12:10 p.m. Thursday, 11:40 a.m. Friday, 1:20 p.m. Saturday: Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson

Mickelson is making his fourth straight trip to Palm Springs, having cracked the top 25 each of the last three times. In addition to their respective amateur partners, he'll play the first three rounds alongside a fellow Masters champ in Johnson, who tied for 14th last week in Hawaii and finished third in this event in 2014.


11:40 a.m. Thursday, 1:20 p.m. Friday, 12:50 p.m. Saturday: Jon Rahm, Bubba Watson

At No. 3 in the world, Rahm is the highest-ranked player teeing it up this week and the Spaniard returns to an event where he finished T-34 last year in his tournament debut. He'll play the first two rounds alongside Watson, who is looking to bounce back from a difficult 2016-17 season and failed to crack the top 50 in two starts in the fall.


11:40 a.m. Thursday, 1:20 p.m. Friday, 12:50 p.m. Saturday: Patrick Reed, Brandt Snedeker

Reed made the first big splash of his career at this event in 2014, shooting three straight rounds of 63 en route to his maiden victory. He'll be joined by Snedeker, whose bid for a Masters bid via the top 50 of the world rankings came up short last month and who hasn't played this event since a missed cut in 2015.


1:10 p.m. Thursday, 12:40 p.m. Friday, 12:10 p.m. Saturday: Patton Kizzire, Bill Haas

Kizzire heads east after a whirlwind Sunday ended with his second win of the season in a six-hole playoff over James Hahn in Honolulu. He'll play alongside Haas, who won this event in both 2010 and 2015 to go with a runner-up finish in 2011 and remains the tournament's all-time leading money winner.

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Mackay still a caddie at heart, even with a microphone

By Doug FergusonJanuary 16, 2018, 7:34 pm

HONOLULU – All it took was one week back on the bag to remind Jim ''Bones'' Mackay what he always loved about being a caddie.

It just wasn't enough for this to be the ultimate mic drop.

Mackay traded in his TV microphone at the Sony Open for the 40-pound bag belonging to Justin Thomas.

It was his first time caddying since he split with Phil Mickelson six months ago. Mackay was only a temporary replacement at Waialae for Jimmy Johnson, a good friend and Thomas' regular caddie who has a nasty case of plantar fasciitis that will keep him in a walking boot for the next month.

''The toughest thing about not caddying is missing the competition, not having a dog in the fight,'' Mackay said before the final round. ''There's nothing more rewarding as a caddie, in general terms, when you say, 'I don't like 6-iron, I like 7,' and being right. I miss that part of it.''

The reward now?

''Not stumbling over my words,'' he said. ''And being better than I was the previous week.''

He has done remarkably well since he started his new job at the British Open last summer, except for that time he momentarily forgot his role. Parts of that famous caddie adage – ''Show up, keep up, shut up'' – apparently can apply to golf analysts on the ground.

During the early hours of the telecast, before Johnny Miller came on, Justin Leonard was in the booth.

''It's my job to report on what I see. It's not my job to ask questions,'' Mackay said. ''I forgot that for a minute.''

Leonard was part of a booth discussion on how a comfortable pairing can help players trying to win a major. That prompted Mackay to ask Leonard if he found it helpful at the 1997 British Open when he was trying to win his first major and was paired with Fred Couples in the final round at Royal Troon.

''What I didn't know is we were going to commercial in six seconds,'' Mackay said. ''I would have no way of knowing that, but I completely hung Justin out to dry. He's now got four seconds to answer my long-winded question.''

During the commercial break, the next voice Mackay heard belonged to Tommy Roy, the executive golf producer at NBC.

''Bones, don't ever do that again.''

It was Roy who recognized the value experienced caddies could bring to a telecast. That's why he invited Mackay and John Wood, the caddie for Matt Kuchar, into the control room at the 2015 Houston Open so they could see how it all worked and how uncomfortable it can be to hear directions coming through an earpiece.

Both worked as on-course reporters at Sea Island that fall.

And when Mickelson and Mackay parted ways after 25 years, Roy scooped up the longtime caddie for TV.

It's common for players to move into broadcasting. Far more unusual is for a caddie to be part of the mix. Mackay loves his new job. Mostly, he loves how it has helped elevate his profession after so many years of caddies being looked upon more unfavorably than they are now.

''I want to be a caddie that's doing TV,'' he said. ''That's what I hope to come across as. The guys think this is good for caddies. And if it's good for caddies, that makes me happy. Because I'm a caddie. I'll always be a caddie.''

Not next week at Torrey Pines, where Mickelson won three times. Not a week later in Phoenix, where Mackay lives. Both events belong to CBS.

And not the Masters.

He hasn't missed Augusta since 1994, when Mickelson broke his leg skiing that winter.

''That killed me,'' he said, ''but not nearly as much as it's going to kill me this year. I'll wake up on Thursday of the Masters and I'll be really grumpy. I'll probably avoid television at all costs until the 10th tee Sunday. And I'll watch. But it will be, within reason, the hardest day of my life.''

There are too many memories, dating to when he was in the gallery right of the 11th green in 1987 when Larry Mize chipped in to beat Greg Norman. He caddied for Mize for two years, and then Scott Simpson in 1992, and Mickelson the rest of the way. He was on the bag for Lefty's three green jackets.

Mackay still doesn't talk much about what led them to part ways, except to say that a player-caddie relationship runs its course.

''If you lose that positive dynamic, there's no point in continuing,'' he said. ''It can be gone in six months or a year or five years. In our case, it took 25 years.''

He says a dozen or so players called when they split up, and the phone call most intriguing was from Roy at NBC.

''I thought I'd caddie until I dropped,'' Mackay said.

He never imagined getting yardages and lining up putts for anyone except the golfer whose bag he was carrying. Now it's for an audience that measures in the millions. Mackay doesn't look at it as a second career. And he won't rule out caddying again.

''It will always be tempting,'' he said. ''I'll always consider myself a caddie. Right now, I'm very lucky and grateful to have the job I do.''

Except for that first week in April.

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The Social: The end was nigh, then it wasn't

By Jason CrookJanuary 16, 2018, 7:00 pm

The star power at the Sony Open may have been overshadowed by a missile scare, but there were plenty of other social media stories that kept the golf world on its toes this week, including some insight on Tiger Woods from a round with President Obama and some failed trick shots.

All that and more in this week's edition of The Social.

By now you've undoubtedly heard about the false alarm in Hawaii on Saturday, where just about everyone, including most Sony Open participants, woke up to an emergency cell phone alert that there was a ballistic missile heading toward the islands.

Hawaiian emergency management officials eventually admitted the original message was mistakenly sent out, but before they did, people (understandably) freaked out.

As the situation unfolded, some Tour pros took to social media to express their confusion and to let the Twittersphere know how they planned on riding out this threat:

While I would've been in that bathtub under the mattress with John Peterson, his wife, baby and in-laws (wait, how big is this tub?), here's how Justin Thomas reacted to the threat of impending doom:

Yeah, you heard that right.

“I was like ‘there’s nothing I can do,'” Thomas said. ”I sat on my couch and opened up the sliding door and watched TV and listened to music. I was like, if it’s my time, it’s my time.”

Hmmm ... can we just go ahead and award him all the 2018 majors right now? Because if Thomas is staring down death in mid-January, you gotta like the kid's chances on the back nine Sunday at Augusta and beyond.

Before the Hawaiian Missile Crisis of 2018, things were going about as well as they could at Waialae Country Club, starting with the Wednesday pro-am.

Jordan Spieth might have been the third-biggest star in his own group, after getting paired with superstar singer/songwriter/actor Nick Jonas and model/actress Kelly Rohrbach.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more photogenic group out on the course, and the "Baywatch" star has a gorgeous swing as well, which makes sense, considering she was a former collegiate golfer at Georgetown.

As impressive as that group was, they were somehow outshined by an amateur in another group, former NFL coach June Jones.

Jones, who now coaches the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats, played his round in bare feet and putted with his 5-iron, a remedy he came up with to battle the yips.

Former NFL and current CFL coach June Jones: A master of 5-iron putting?

A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on

Considering he made back-to-back birdies at one point during the day, it's safe to say he's won that battle.

With Tiger Woods' return to the PGA Tour about a week away, that sound you hear is the hype train motoring full speed down the tracks.

First, his ex-girlfriend Lindsey Vonn told Sports Illustrated that she hopes this comeback works out for him.

“I loved him and we’re still friends. Sometimes, I wish he would have listened to me a little more, but he’s very stubborn and he likes to go his own way," the Olympic skiier said. "I hope this latest comeback sticks. I hope he goes back to winning tournaments.”

Vonn also mentioned she thinks Woods is very stubborn and that he didn't listen to her enough. That really shouldn't shock anyone who watched him win the 2008 U.S. Open on one leg. Don't think there were a lot of people in his ear telling him that was a great idea at the time.

We also have this report from Golf Channel Insider Tim Rosaforte, stating that the 14-time major champ recently played a round with former president Barack Obama at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., where he received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.

The Farmers Insurance Open is sure to be must-see TV, but until then, I'm here for all of the rampant speculation and guesses as to how things will go. The more takes the better. Make them extra spicy, please and thanks.

These poor New Orleans Saints fans. Guess the only thing you can do is throw your 65-inch TV off the balcony and get 'em next year.

Here's two more just for good measure.

Farts ... will they ever not be funny?

Perhaps someday, but that day was not early last week, when Tommy Fleetwood let one rip on his European teammates during EurAsia Cup team photos.

Fleetwood went 3-0-0 in the event, helping Europe to a victory over Asia, perhaps by distracting his opponents with the aid of his secret weapon.

Also, how about the diabolical question, "Did you get that?"

Yeah Tommy, we all got that.

Ahhh ... golf trick shot videos. You were fun while you lasted.

But now we’ve officially come to the point in their existence where an unsuccessful attempt is much more entertaining than a properly executed shot, and right on cue, a couple of pros delivered some epic fails.

We start with Sony Open runner-up James Hahn’s preparation for the event, where for some reason he thought he needed to practice a running, jumping, Happy Gilmore-esque shot from the lip of a bunker. It didn’t exactly work out.

Not to be outdone, Ladies European Tour pro Carly Booth attempted the juggling-drive-it-out-of-midair shot made famous by the Bryan Bros, and from the looks of things she might have caught it a little close to the hosel.

PSA to trick-shot artists everywhere: For the sake of the viewing public, if you feel a miss coming on, please make sure the camera is rolling.

Seriously, though, who cares? Definitely not these guys and gals, who took the time to comment, "who cares?" They definitely do not care.