Featured Match Poulter vs Cink

By Rex HoggardFebruary 23, 2011, 1:23 am

2005 WGC Accenture Match PlayMARANA, Ariz. – GolfChannel.com senior writer Rex Hoggard is at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain for the opening round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. He is providing a running blog for the match between defending champion Ian Poulter and Stewart Cink. Follow him on twitter (@RexHoggard) for more updates or for complete scoring of all 32 matches, click here.



(3:59 p.m. ET) Different desert, similar feel. On Tuesday Tiger Woods said the winds that whipped the Dubai Desert Classic two weeks ago exposed the shortcomings in his game.

On Wednesday at Dove Mountain a similar wind was having a similar impact.

Thomas Bjorn, who had hit just two greens in regulation through five holes, was 2 up on a wayward Woods.

(2:50 p.m. ET) In what was billed as a battle of the Twitter brothers, Stewart Cink outlasted his social media kin in overtime Wednesday at Dove Mountain. .

'If I lost I was going to donate 50,000 followers to Ian,' Cink smiled.

(2:47 p.m. ET) Stewart Cink roped a 6-iron at the first extra hole to 4 feet for birdie to beat Ian Poulter in the day's first match at Dove Mountain.

Although it was just one match, Cink, who is in the middle of a swing overhaul, said the confidence from his Wednesday victory was important.

'It's actually a big win for me and my confidence because I don't know if there is a better match play player in this field than Ian,' Cink said.

(2:20 p.m. ET) Stewart Cink scrambles for par at 18 to force extra holes at Dove Mountain against Ian Poulter.

On the way to the first tee Cink's caddie got stuck by a jumping cholla. Not a good sign.


(1:59 p.m. ET) The day's first match will go the distance at Dove Mountain, with Ian Poulter AS heading to the 18th tee thanks to a 14-footer for par by Stewart Cink at No. 17.

(1:24 p.m. ET) A lot of things in the desert can hurt you – jumping cholla, snakes and, for Stewart Cink, tee balls.

Cink pulled his tee shot at the 14th hole into the desert left of the fairway, was forced to chip out and couldn't scramble for his par to give Ian Poulter a 2-up lead at Dove Mountain.


(1:14 p.m. ET) It took Stewart Cink 13 holes on Wednesday at the WGC-Match Play to win a hole but his 18-footer for birdie at the par-5 couldn't have come at a better time.

The American was languishing at 2 down and running out of holes.


(12:38 p.m. ET) Ian Poulter scored a birdie breakthrough in his Round 1 match against Stewart Cink. The Englishman rolled in a 4-footer at the 10th hole for birdie, the first birdie of the morning for the two-ball.

The birdie put the defending champion 2 up, an insurmountable cushion considering the play so far.

(11:58 a.m. ET) Talked with putting guru Pat O'Brien about his work with Stewart Cink this morning.

The two began talking last year during the Chevron World Challenge after Cink split with longtime swing coach Butch Harmon.

O'Brien says the change is coming along well, pointing out it's not a dramatic transformation.

(11:47 a.m. ET) It's Dove Mountain's reputation as a scoreable golf course, more than its ease of access high in the hills above Tucson, that officials like, but don't tell that to Ian Poulter and Stewart Cink.

The day's first match split a hole with a double bogey-5 (No. 6) and Poulter went 1 up with a par at the seventh.

So far the two have a better-ball score of 2 over. Not exactly a birdie bonanza.

(11:29 a.m. ET) In what must be a 2011 WGC-Match Play first Ian Poulter and Stewart Cink split the sixth hole with double bogey-5s.

Both players misjudged the wind and found the front bunker with there tee shots, played poor second shots and failed to hole putts for bogey.

Poulter looked particularly rattled after his third shot, warning a volunteer in the ShotLink tower behind the green not to talk when players are playing.

'I'm 10 yards from you,' the defending champion complained.

(10:52 a.m. ET) The par-4 fourth hole is playing short for Round 1, about 330 yards.

Ian Poulter laid back and made par. Stewart Cink hit driver and also parred the hole. Consider it a risk-reward wash.

(10:32 a.m. ET) The day's first match at Dove Mountain remains all square through two holes, both holes split with bogeys, but Ian Poulter has a comfortable 2-up lead in the fashion division against Stewart Cink.

 In fact the Englishman may be dormie in that department for the week.

(10:13 a.m. ET) Ian Poulter sets the tone early in his match against Stewart Cink at Dove Mountain by not giving the American a 2 footer for par at the first.

The Englishman must have mistaken the WGC-Match Play for the Ryder Cup.

(9:55 a.m. ET) Defending champion Ian Poulter teed off first Wednesday at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship 30 minutes late because of a frost delay.

Before beginning his title defense against Stewart Cink Poulter walked to the punch bowl tophy and gave it a final pat.
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