Final Four Set at Accenture Match Play


2005 WGC Accenture Match PlayCARLSBAD, Calif. -- Retief Goosen, the only No. 1 seed remaining, advanced to the semifinals of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship Saturday, after a 4 and 3 drubbing of Robert Allenby.
Goosen, the reigning U.S. Open champion, represents the Ben Hogan bracket as he searches for his first WGC title. He will meet Chris DiMarco in one of Saturday's semifinals. DiMarco, the fourth seed in the Bobby Jones bracket, defeated second-seeded Stewart Cink, 2 and 1.
England's Ian Poulter, the 11th seed in the Gary Player bracket, stopped the momentum of Nick O'Hern. The Australian, ranked eighth, eliminated two-time defending champion Tiger Woods and Luke Donald on Friday, but could not keep up with Poulter on Saturday. The young Englishman advanced with a 3 and 1 victory and sets up a semifinal match against David Toms.
The best match on paper in Saturday's quarterfinal was the Toms/Adam Scott tilt. Toms, the fourth seed in the Sam Snead bracket, used a hot putter to eliminate No. 3 seed, Scott, 2 and 1.
Goosen built a huge lead early and never looked back. He won the second, third, sixth and seventh holes with little resistance from Allenby, the No. 11 seed in the Hogan bracket.
Allenby clawed back into the match with a 15-foot birdie putt at nine to move 3-down. The two halved the next five holes, but when Allenby could not make birdie at 15, the match went to Goosen.
'I putted a lot better than I did the first few rounds,' said Goosen. 'Putting is what it's all about. Robert didn't really make any putts and I got off to a good start and got on top of him.'
The tone was set early for the DiMarco/Cink match as both were inside 4 feet at the first. Cink, the tour's top-ranked putter last year, missed his putt to give DiMarco the advantage. Cink won the sixth to square the match, but DiMarco went 1 up at the next when Cink missed a 15-footer.
Cink's putter let him down again at 10 when he missed a 4-footer to fall 2-down. He rolled in a 7-footer for birdie at the 12th to cut the gap in half.
DiMarco missed the green at the 14th, but chipped in for birdie to reclaim his 2-up lead. The contest was over three holes later as DiMarco has yet to trail in any of his four matches.
Poulter played well to start the second nine with a win at the 10th and took advantage of some poor putting from O'Hern. Poulter was 1 up then won 11 with a two-putt birdie, took the 12th with a par when O'Hern missed a 10-footer and captured the 14th with a 9-foot birdie.
Poulter was 4 up with four to play, but O'Hern made things interesting. O'Hern birdied the 15th for a win, then sank a 15-foot birdie putt to take the 16th. O'Hern was now 2-down, but a horrible drive at 17 did him in and guaranteed Poulter's place in the semifinals.
'I didn't play as well as I did yesterday,' admitted Poulter. 'Nick is a very steady golfer. You can't give him too many chances. Even though I was 4-up with four to play, he came back and hit me with two quick birdies.
'The match is all over and I'm very happy.'
Toms built a 2-up lead through six holes, but Scott, who won last week's rain- shortened Nissan Open, finally knotted things up with a 15-foot birdie putt at 13.
Scott landed in a greenside bunker at the 14th and blasted out to 4 feet. He missed the par save to give Toms a 1-up lead. Toms appeared to be in trouble at 15, but made a 25-footer to halve the hole and keep his margin.
At the par-3 16th, Toms hit his tee ball 7 feet over the flag. He rolled in the downhill birdie putt to go 2 up. Scott could not catch him at 17 so Toms is in a familiar spot in this tournament.
'I played well and kept the pressure on him,' said Toms, who finished as runner-up to Woods in 2003. 'I hit the ball in the fairway and that was my game plan.'
Related Links:
  • Brackets - WGC-Accenture Match Play
  • Full Coverage - WGC-Accenture Match Play