Day 4 predictions: Final eight duel in the desert


MARANA, Ariz. – Four matches amongst eight men will comprise the fourth round of the 2012 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. senior writer Rex Hoggard is on site and offers up predictions on Day 4.


Rory McIlroy vs. Sang-Moon Bae

The winner: McIlroy

The lowdown: It’s getting harder and harder to pick against Bae, but McIlroy looks like a man on a mission to win his first WGC and overtake Luke Donald atop the World Golf Ranking.


Lee Westwood vs. Martin Laird

The winner: Westwood

The lowdown: For a player who had never advanced past the second round in 11 starts at the WGC-Match Play, Westwood has appeared unstoppable this week and a semifinal clash with McIlroy seems inevitable.


Peter Hanson vs. Mark Wilson

The winner: Hanson

The lowdown: Wilson was straight and steady on Friday, normally a recipe for match play success, but Hanson played nearly flawless golf against Brandt Snedeker in Round 3. The Swede posted seven birdies through 15 holes for a 5-and-3 walk over.


Matt Kuchar vs. Hunter Mahan

The winner: America, eh . . . Mahan

The lowdown: For the first time since 2009 there will be an American advance to the semifinals and the way he’s played the last two rounds that will be Mahan. Since Thursday he’s trailed just two of his last 30 holes, made 16 birdies and not seen the 16th hole.

Watch live coverage of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Golf Channel, Saturday noon-2PM ET; Sunday 8AM-1PM ET. NBC coverage can be seen live Saturday/Sunday, 2-6PM ET.