Thirty-One Other Flavors


2007- WGC-AccentureYes, Eldrick, there were 31 'other' matches scheduled Wednesday in the opening round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona. And while the entire sports world focused ' understandably so ' on the clash between top seed Tiger Woods and down-underdog Brendan Jones of Australia, 62 other players competed for the right to advance.
The following is a special edition of the Wednesday notes column and contains a brief capsule from each of those 31 other matches, just in case you were wondering what happened on the rest of the golf course:

Sergio Garcia vs. Charl Schwartzel (Schwartzel wins 1-up) World No. 2 Sergio Garcia lost the first three holes and the last three holes to young South African Charl Schwartzel. It made him the second No. 1 seed in a bracket to go down (Pat Perez upset Padraig Harrington) and it made Schwartzel one of the happiest men in Arizona. Sloppy iron play late was Sergio's undoing.
Ian Poulter vs. Jeev Milkha Singh (Poulter wins 4 & 3) Ian Poulter got Milkha. Big time. Poulter in plaid, seeing well after a recent eye procedure, routed the Indian. Now Poulter gets a shot at his European Ryder Cup teammate, World No. 2 Sergio Garcia in Round 2 Thursday. Oops, not so fast, bloke. Sergio lost the last three holes and the match to Charl Schwartzel. Adios, Sergio.
Robert Allenby vs. Ross Fisher (Fisher wins 1-up) Ross Fisher, an Englishman, is easily one of the most underrated players in the world. He was also almost one of the most defeated players in the world Wednesday when he missed a 5-footer on the 17th green that would have put away Robert Allenby. Next up for Fisher is Pat Perez.
Luke Donald vs. Ben Curtis (Donald wins 19 holes) It tore up England's Luke Donald to miss last fall's Ryder Cup because of a bad wrist. But he's back at match play and he withstood a furious Ben Curtis rally. Curtis birdied four of his last six holes but pulled his second shot into the desert on the 19th and couldn't save par. Next for Donald: Vijay Singh.
Padraig Harrington vs. Pat Perez (Perez wins 1-up) Upset alert. Upset alert. Princeton beats Georgetown! Pat Perez, a No. 16 seed in the Snead bracket, held off No. 1 seed Padraig Harrington. Harrington had a 12-footer on 18 to send it to extra holes but missed on the left side.
Retief Goosen vs. Tim Clark (Clark wins 4 & 2) In a battle between the 33rd-seeded player in the field, Retief Goosen, and the 32nd-seeded player in the field, Tim Clark, it was Clark who emerged the triumphant South African. Clark now is next in line for Tiger Woods who, by the way, beat Brendan Jones 3 and 2.
Adam Scott vs. Sean O'Hair (O'Hair wins 1-up) Sean O'Hair birdied the drivable par 15th to take a 1-up lead over Adam Scott that held up when both players parred each of the last three holes. O'Hair moves along to a second round matchup against Boo Weekley.
Vijay Singh vs. Soren Kjeldsen (Singh wins 2 & 1) In yet another match that ended in a 2 and 1 decision, Vijay Singh, still recuperating from knee surgery (less serious than Tiger's) dusted the other 'Soren,' Soren Kjeldsen. Vijay was 2-down early. He is the first seed in the Hogan bracket. Who worked harder on his game ' Vijay or Hogan?
Boo Weekley vs. Justin Rose (Weekley wins 1-up) Roller coaster Boo Weekley, 3-up after six holes and 2-down after 14, rallied to can a 22-footer on the 18th hole to 'upset' Justin Rose. Rose, whose wife recently gave birth to the couple's first child, was the fourth seed in the Jones bracket. But he shoved his approach right on the final hole.
Mike Weir vs. Hunter Mahan (Mahan wins 1-up) Hunter Mahan is rapidly developing into one of the most confident and dangerous match play players in the world. His tight win over Mike Weir (nobody was more than 2-up at any point in the match) is just the kind of confidence builder Mahan would want to have going into his second round appointment with Rory McIlroy. The winner will get Woods if Tiger advances one more.
Stuart Appleby vs. Martin Kaymer (Kaymer wins 1-up) Only a cruel 'power' lip-out from 15 feet on the last hole kept Stuart Appleby from extending this match against rising German star Martin Kaymer. Australia's Appleby is the only man to have played in all 11 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championships.
Rory McIlroy vs. Louis Oosthuizen (McIlroy wins 2 & 1) The precocious McIlroy, just 19 years old and already No. 17 in the world, ho-hums his way past Louis Oosthuizen, who will have to wait a long time before he wrests the nickname 'Oosty' away from Peter Oosterhuis. McIlroy is one win away from a potential date with Tiger Woods in the round of 16.
Jim Furyk vs. Anders Hansen (Furyk wins 2 & 1) Anders Hansen has played in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship three times and has yet to win a match. This time it was steady Jim Furyk who beat him. Furyk, the fourth seed in the Snead bracket, played his college golf at nearby University of Arizona and looked comfortable all day long.
Steve Stricker vs. Dustin Johnson (Stricker wins 2 & 1) Two of the hottest players on the PGA Tour, Dustin Johnson and Steve Stricker, needed 17 holes before Stricker, second last Sunday to Phil Mickelson at Riviera, prevailed. Stricker won this event in 2001 and gets Ernie Els next in what might be the premier second round match-up.
Stephen Ames vs. Alvaro Quiros (Ames wins 1-up) Stephen Ames is most famous for being on the business end of a 9 and 8 drubbing at the hands of Tiger Woods several years ago when Woods perceived that Ames had publicly slighted Tiger's driving ability. This time Ames got the best of Spain's Alvaro Quiros in a tight match. Next for him is Peter Hanson.
Henrik Stenson vs. Davis Love III (Love wins 21 holes) Davis Love III, who lost in the finals of this event to Tiger Woods in 2004 and then again to Geoff Ogilvy in the 2006 final, made a par on the 21st hole to hold off another former champion, Henrik Stenson. Stenson kept the match going with 14-footer on the 20th hole. Love now faces close friend Justin Leonard.
Ernie Els vs. Soren Hansen (Els wins 4 & 2) Ernie Els, who made no secret of the fact that he wasn't a big fan of The Gallery at Dove Mountain (where they played this event the last two years before moving to nearby Ritz-Carlton Golf Club) advances to the second round in this event for the first time since 2002.
Geoff Ogilvy vs. Kevin Sutherland (Ogilvy wins 19 holes) The 2006 winner of this event needed a testy up and down from a greenside bunker on the first extra hole to hold off a late charge by Kevin Sutherland who won this thing in 2002. Sutherland had bravely extended the match with a 12-footer on the 18th.
Robert Karlsson vs. Peter Hanson (Hanson wins 3 & 2) The only Hanson (there are two Hansens) in the field (there are also two Sorens), Peter Hanson pulled off the big upset against Robert Karlsson who was out of sorts from the outset. Karlsson conceded putts for losses on the second and third holes and never led. Karlsson, No. 7 in the world was No. 2 seed in the Gary Player bracket.
Trevor Immelman vs. Shingo Katayama (Katayama wins 3 & 2) Trevor Immelman, the reigning Masters champion and one of eight South Africans in the field, had a 6-footer on the 16th green that would have drawn him to within one hole of Shingo Katayama. Immelman proceeded to three-putt and lose the match to the 'Kat in the Hat' from Japan.
Justin Leonard vs. Andres Romero (Leonard wins 2 & 1) Justin Leonard, captured three straight holes beginning at the 10th, and then hung on tenaciously to outlast Andres Romero. Romero almost shocked the golf world at Carnoustie in the British Open two years ago, just missing the Harrington- Garcia playoff. Leonard was too steady on this sunny day north of Tucson.
Phil Mickelson vs. Angel Cabrera (Mickelson wins 19 holes) Phil Mickelson, the No. 2 seed in the Hogan bracket, was 4-up with five to play against Angel Cabrera and lost four straight holes starting at 14. Lefty, who won at Riviera last week, collected himself on the first extra hole and buried a 5-footer for the winning birdie that advanced him to the second round against Zach Johnson.
Zach Johnson vs. Graeme McDowell (Johnson wins 3 & 1) With a trip back to Augusta little more than a month away, former Masters champion Zach Johnson stuck an iron to 3 feet on 17 for the birdie that eliminated Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell. Johnson, the 28th seed over-all, is the seventh seed in the Hogan bracket.
Paul Casey vs. Aaron Baddeley (Casey wins 1-up) Aaron Baddeley, one of the best putters in the game normally, missed a 4-footer on the last that would have extended the match against Paul Casey. Casey won the HSBC Match Play in 2006 and is always a threat in this format. Next up for him is Matthew Goggin.
Kenny Perry vs. Matthew Goggin (Goggin wins 2 & 1) Veteran Kenny Perry, the No. 3 seed in the Player bracket, managed just two birdies all day against the voluble Goggin, one of eight Aussies in the field. Goggin won when Perry made bogey on the 17th hole.
Miguel Angel Jimenez vs. Rory Sabbatini (Jimenez wins 2 & 1) The 45-year-old mechanic from Spain poured sand into Rory's gas tank and earned a second round shot at the red-hot Villegas. Sabbatini was 4-down at the turn despite being near the University of Arizona where he played his college golf. Sabbatini made a mess of the back nine last Sunday at Riviera and it carried over.
Stewart Cink vs. Richard Sterne (Cink wins 19 holes) Cink, last year's runner-up to Woods, made a 47-foot bomb for birdie on the first extra hole after South Africa's Sterne had won the 15th and 16th holes to force the issue. Woods' group had to wait on first tee as this match played through on its extra hole. Westwood next for Cink.
Oliver Wilson vs. K. J. Choi (Wilson wins 3 & 1) First upset of day, if the seedings mean anything to you. No. 43 in world Oliver Wilson made par on 17 and K. J. Choi bogeyed the same hole. Wilson was a Ryder Cup surprise in the Saturday morning foursomes last fall when he and Henrik Stenson took down the Mickelson and Kim powerhouse 2 and 1.
Camilo Villegas vs. Rod Pampling (Villegas wins 7 & 6) Early audition for this year's Presidents Cup for Spiderman. Camilo raced to 4 up lead after eight holes and the rest was just too tough an ask for the flinty Pampling. Villegas won five straight holes at one point.
Lee Westwood vs. P. Marksaeng (Westwood wins 2 & 1) Euro Ryder Cup veteran got up early (3 up after 7) and never let up on Thailand's Marksaeng. Westwood hoping to make amends for not winning a full point in any one match at Valhalla last fall.
Anthony Kim vs. Wen-Tang Lin (Kim wins 7 & 5) Picking up where he left off in Ryder Cup, AK didn'tt lose a hole as he breezed past the little-known Tawainese, Lin. This is Kim's first appearance in this event.

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