Fun facts for the Sweet 16 at the WGC-Match Play


As the field of 64 has dwindled to 16, here is an inside look at the matches Friday at Dove Mountain.

• There are seven Americans left among the final 16. There were eight last year, four in 2010, five in ‘09 and seven in 2008.

• In 2011, two of the Friday matches featured Americans facing off against each other. There are also two today (Steve Stricker vs. Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson vs. Mark Wilson).

• No other country has more than one representative remaining, save for Scotland, which has two in the surviving 16 (Martin Laird and Paul Lawrie) and they are facing off against one another.

Lee Westwood meets Nick Watney for the third consecutive year in Match Play. Westwood has lost the previous two meetings, both played in the second round. Take note, U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III.

• Lawrie, Laird, Westwood, Johnson, Wilson, John Senden, and Brandt Snedeker have already advanced to a career-best place in this championship.

• Wilson, Senden, and Snedeker have three combined appearances since 2005. They have a combined six wins this week.

• Just five players from last year’s final 16 have returned for another run in 2012.

• The biggest gap in the world ranking between opponents today is in the Rory McIlroy-Miguel Angel Jimenez match. They’re separated by 50 spots in the ranking. There’s a 26-year difference in their ages, too – also the largest of the eight matches today.