MARANA, Ariz. – GolfChannel.com senior writer Rex Hoggard is at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain for the third round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. He is providing a running blog for the match between (1) Martin Kaymer and (5) Hunter Mahan. Follow him on Twitter (@RexHoggard) for more updates or for complete scoring of all 32 matches, click here.
(6:14 p.m. ET) Although he’s been asked about a gazillion times, it seemed apropos to ask Martin Kaymer his thoughts on possibly unseating Lee Westwood atop the World Golf Ranking, a reality that is just two matches away at Dove Mountain.
“Of course it is somewhere in my mind,” Kaymer said following his 2-and-1 Round 3 victory over Hunter Mahan. “I know I can be No. 1, but it is not the most important thing to me right now.”
Kid’s good with a 3-iron and a microphone in his face.
(5:53 p.m. ET) Hunter Mahan's match with Martin Kaymer at Dove Mountain came down to a chip, of all things. But this was not the Ryder Cup although the result was the same.
Mahan, who lost his Monday single's match to Graeme McDowell following a poor chip last fall, pulled his approach left of the 17th green and managed to chip his third to just 20 feet. He conceded Kaymer's par and lost 2 and 1. This wasn't Celtic Manor, however.
'He made the mistake of hitting (his approach) further left than me and that's a really tough chip,' said Kaymer, who improved to 2-0 this week against Sean Foley students this week following his Round 2 shootout with Justin Rose.
(5:33 p.m. ET) Starting to feel like a Ryder Cup at Dove Mountain, at least it does in the Martin Kaymer-Hunter Mahan match.
Mahan rolled in a 20-footer for birdie at the 15th and the German answered with an 11-foot birdie putt at No. 16 to take a 1-up lead, his first lead of the match.
Ole, ole, ole.
(5:15 p.m. ET) Update from Dove Mountain's 15th hole: Four of the 12 players who made it to the drivable par-4 (about 343 yards) reached the green with their tee shots, including Martin Kaymer.
Didn't do the German much good, however, Hunter Mahan matched his birdie with a clutch 20-footer.
(5:06 p.m.) One top seed isn't going quietly at the WGC-Match Play. Martin Kaymer, the only top-seeded player remaining, squared his match with Hunter Mahan with a 10-footer for birdie at the 14th hole.
So far today the two have halved just six of 14 holes.
(4:53 p.m. ET) No chants of, 'USA, USA' coming from the crowd around the 13th green at Dove Mountain – one of the rowdiest spots all week.
They must not realize Hunter Mahan is American, or Martin Kaymer is German.
Good match either way. Kaymer cuts the lead to one hole when Mahan makes a mess of his third shot from a greenside bunker.
(4:24 p.m. ET) The difference in the day's high-profile two-ball has been Dove Mountain's par 5s, which have all gone Hunter Mahan's way.
Mahan eagled the par-5 second hole and birdied the eighth and 11th to go 4 under on them. His opponent Martin Kaymer is even-par so far on the par 5s, including a lipped out short putt at No. 8 for birdie and two trips to the desert at No. 11 to fall two holes down.
(3:48 p.m. ET) Maybe it's the golf course, a sprawling layout high in the Tucson hills, or maybe it's the format. Either way there is no way to deny the fact the WGC-Match Play is a putting contest.
Consider Hunter Mahan, who is just 1 up in his Round 3 match with Martin Kaymer despite hitting eight of nine greens on the front side.
(3:09 p.m. ET) Fortunate that officials sent Ben Crane out in the last group at Dove Mountain on Friday. Six holes in and his match is already a full hole behind.
Shame, really. Crane and Co. are missing a good show up ahead between Martin Kaymer and Hunter Mahan. The German rolled in a 20-footer at the sixth to square the match. For the record the duo has halved just three holes through seven.
(2:55 p.m. ET) Like Tiger Woods, Hunter Mahan works with Canadian swing whisperer Sean Foley and the thought occurs after five holes at Dove Mountain that Woods swings like Mahan more so than Mahan swinging like Woods.
Still, it seems to be working well. Mahan has the world-No. 1-in-waiting Kaymer 1 up.
(2:39 p.m. ET) Martin Kaymer can overtake world No. 1 Lee Westwood with a trip to Sunday's final at Dove Mountain.
He's certainly playing like a potential No. 1, holing a 25-footer for birdie at the third and dropping his approach 4 feet from the pin at the fourth (although he did miss the birdie putt) to cut Hunter Mahan's lead to 1 up.
(2:17 p.m. ET) Just spotted looping legend Fanny Sunesson trailing the Martin Kaymer-Hunter Mahan match at Dove Mountain.
Sunesson, who caddies for Henrik Stenson, who lost earlier in the week, also works with Kaymer.
Her man is in trouble early after Mahan holed a 25-footer for eagle at the par-5 second hole. USA 2 up.
(2:02 p.m. ET) Tough crowd watching the Martin Kaymer-Hunter Mahan match. One member of the Dove Mountain gallery moaned 'Sure hope Hunter doesn't have to chip' after the American hit his approach shot into the first hole.
The dig was directed at Mahan's singles match on Monday at last year's Ryder Cup. Ouch.
Luckily Mahan hit the green and made par. Kaymer, a bogey. USA 1 up.