Match by match: Round 2 WGC-Accenture results

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 20, 2014, 10:50 pm

With the field pared to 32, match play continued Thursday at Dove Mountain. Here's a look at the results from the second round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship:

HOGAN BRACKET

Sergio Garcia (2) def. Bill Haas (7), 3 and 1: Garcia faced a 2-down deficit after seven holes Thursday, but managed to bounce back with an eagle on the par-5 eighth. The match was even when the pair stepped to the 14th tee, but from that point the Spaniard took command, winning three of the final four holes. With the win, Garcia advances past the second round in this event for just the second time since 2006.

Rickie Fowler (14) def. Jimmy Walker (6), 1 up: One day after taking out match-play stalwart Ian Poulter, Fowler added another scalp to his collection by taking out arguably the Tour's hottest player. The match was both closely contested and well-played, with both players pouring in birdies and neither holding larger than a 1-up lead. Fowler took the upper hand with a win on the 17th, though, and held off Walker with par save on the home hole. He'll now face Garcia in what should be a rather intriguing third-round match.

Jim Furyk (5) def. Charl Schwartzel (4), 3 and 2: Schwartzel won two of the first three holes to take an early advantage, but Furyk turned the tide by winning three straight holes from Nos. 11-13. After the South African made double bogey on No. 16, Furyk won his fifth hole of the back nine, and as a result he advances to play again on Friday.

Harris English (9) def. Rory McIlroy (1), 19 holes: This was one of the day's best matches, and closely contested throughout. English was 2-up through 13 holes but the Ulsterman rallied, winning three holes in a row to take a slim advantage. English leveled things with a birdie at No. 17, though, and went on to clip the former world No. 1 on the first extra hole.


SNEAD BRACKET

Victor Dubuisson (7) def. Peter Hanson (15), 3 and 1: The Frenchman stormed out to an early lead, winning each of the first three holes, but Hanson leveled the match by winning three of the next four. The Swede was ultimately undone by the four par-5s at Dove Mountain, playing them in 3 over Thursday, and never led during the match. Dubuisson padded his lead to 2 up on No. 13 and closed things out when Hanson conceded on the 17th green.

Bubba Watson (3) def. Jonas Blixt (11), 2 up: Watson built a quick 3-up advantage over Blixt, though the Swede battled back and was eventually able to trim his deficit to only 1 down heading to 18. Blixt pulled his final tee shot though and ended up underneath a jumping cholla near the green - hardly ideal position. The hole was conceded shortly thereafter, and Bubba will now face Dubuisson on Friday.

Hunter Mahan (8) def. Richard Sterne (16), 2 up: After dispatching Zach Johnson on Wednesday, Sterne put forth another solid effort and actually led for much of the match. Mahan squared things with the South African on the 15th hole, then won each of the final two to advance at an event where he won in 2012 and finished second in 2013.

Graeme McDowell (4) def. Hideki Matsuyama (5), 1 up: Matsuyama built a 3-up advantage after just six holes, but the Ulsterman slowly whittled away at his deficit and squared the match for the first time on No. 17. He took his first lead of the day one hole later, closing out the Japanese phenom with a ticklish 15-foot, downhill put to set up a 2010 Ryder Cup rematch with Mahan.


PLAYER BRACKET

Jordan Spieth (3) def. Thomas Bjorn (6), 5 and 4: Several of the second-round matches were closely contested, but this one was over quickly. Spieth won four of the first seven holes to build a sizeable advantage and then held on to defeat the Danish veteran, who failed to win a single hole during the match. Spieth certainly didn't give him much of a window - the 20-year-old's only bogey Thursday came on the 12th hole, at which point he had already amassed a 5-up lead.

Matt Kuchar (2) def. Ryan Moore (7), 1 up: Two former U.S. Amateur champs played a close match Thursday, but it was the defending champ at Dove Mountain who ultimately emerged victorious. While 15 of the 18 holes were halved in the match, Kuchar's win with a birdie on No. 15 proved to be the difference, and he'll now face Spieth in a compelling third-round matchup.

Jason Dufner (4) def. Matteo Manassero (12), 2 and 1: The young Italian had a 2-up lead through eight holes, and Dufner didn't lead the match until he left the 16th green with a 1-up advantage. The match appeared to be heading to the final hole until Dufner's chip from behind the 17th green rattled the pin and dropped, giving him an unexpected birdie. The reigning PGA champ won the match moments later when Manassero was unable to convert a birdie try of his own from the edge of the green.

Ernie Els (8) def. Justin Rose (1), 20 holes: Els had the early lead, but he had to hole a long par putt on 18 to send the match to extra holes. After birdies were exchanged on the 19th, Rose flubbed a greenside bunker shot on the 20th hole to give Els the advantage. Els was able to get up and down from an awkward lie and defeat the U.S. Open champion.


JONES BRACKET

Louis Oosthuizen (8) def. Henrik Stenson (1), 4 and 3: This event has long been cold to its top overall seed, and that trend continued this week as Stenson was sent to an early exit on Thursday. Oosthuizen won three of the first four holes - twice via concession - and never really looked back, as he held at least a two-hole advantage from the second hole onward.

Webb Simpson (5) def. Brandt Snedeker (4), 4 and 3: In a match pairing two match play veterans, Simpson amassed a 4-up lead after just six holes and managed to keep the former FedEx Cup champ at bay from that point. Snedeker trimmed his deficit to 2-down after 10, but Simpson won the next hole and wasn't closely challenged again. He'll now play Oosthuizen on Friday in a contest between two former major winners.

Jason Day (2) def. Billy Horschel (10), 22 holes: This match seemed to be over quickly, as Horschel won three straight holes from Nos. 2-4. Day rallied back across the inward nine, though, and finally drew even with Horschel after 16 holes. The duo halved a number of holes from that point, but Day finally broke the deadlock with an accurate approach on the 22nd hole that led to a clinching birdie.

George Coetzee (14) def. Patrick Reed (11), 21 holes: Reed let one get away in this match, as he led the entire back nine and held a 1-up advantage on the 18th hole. WIth Coetzee off the green, Reed found trouble with his approach and the South African was granted new life. Coetzee ended one of the day's longer matches when he stuffed his approach to the 21st hole and Reed was unable to hole a lengthy birdie try of his own.

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Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.