Match by match: Round 1 WGC-Accenture results

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 20, 2014, 12:13 am

One of golf's most exciting days didn't disappoint Wednesday at Dove Mountain. Here is how things stand after the opening round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship:

HOGAN BRACKET

Jimmy Walker (6) def. Branden Grace (11), 5 and 4: One of the hottest players in the world, Walker had little trouble with the South African, winning Nos. 3-5 – all of which Grace bogeyed – to take a comfortable lead he wouldn’t relinquish. Walker will face Fowler in the second round.

Rickie Fowler (14) def. Ian Poulter (3), 2 and 1: Fowler took a 3-up lead through seven holes, then hung on against the scrappy Poulter, who won here in 2010 and boasted a 22-11 record heading into this week. With a chance to send the match to the 18th, Poulter missed a 10-foot birdie putt. Fowler will play Walker in Round 2. 

Bill Haas (7) def. Miguel Angel Jimenez (10), 4 and 3: Haas erased three years of frustration with an emphatic beatdown of the Mechanic. Haas, who had lost in the first round each of the past three years, won Nos. 2 and 3 and never looked back. He’ll face Sergio Garcia in Round 2.

Charl Schwartzel (4) def. Kevin Stadler (13), 3 and 2: Schwartzel never trailed in his match against the Phoenix Open winner. The South African took control with back-to-back birdies on 14 and 15 to advance to the second round for the fifth time in six years. He’ll face Jim Furyk in Round 2.  

Sergio Garcia (2) def. Marc Leishman (15), 22 holes: The Spaniard escaped a first-round scare after making an 8-foot birdie on the fourth extra hole. Garcia should have been able to close out Leishman in regulation, but he made bogey from the edge of the green on 18. Nevertheless, Garcia, who has two wins in his last three starts, will face Bill Haas in Round 2. 

Jim Furyk (5) def. Chris Kirk (12), 2 and 1: Furyk dropped the first two holes, then ran off three wins in a row to take a lead he wouldn’t relinquish. The match-play veteran closed out the match with a 5-foot par putt on 17, advancing to the second round for the second year in a row. Now, he will face Charl Schwartzel in Round 2. 

Rory McIlroy (1) def. Boo Weekley (16), 3 and 2: McIlroy got bounced in the first round a year ago but wasn't about to repeat the feat on Wednesday, taking a 3-up lead at the turn. Weekley entered this week's event with injury concerns and ultimately was unable to keep the former world No. 1 from cruising into the second round.

Harris English (9) def. Lee Westwood (8), 5 and 3: English won earlier this season at Mayakoba and easily advanced past Westwood, who continues to search for his form after parting ways with Sean Foley earlier this month. English remains one of the game's hottest younger players and now will take on McIlroy in one of the most intriguing second-round matchups.


SNEAD BRACKET

Bubba Watson (3) def. Mikko Ilonen (14), 2 and 1: The Northern Trust Open winner had a back-and-forth battle, grabbing a 2-up lead through four holes before falling all the way to 2 down standing on 13 tee. From there, Watson won four of the next five holes to close out the match and keep alive his perfect first-round record. Watson will now face Jonas Blixt. 

Jonas Blixt (11) def. Keegan Bradley (6), 2 and 1: All square on 12 tee, the Swede won Nos. 12, 13 and 15 to drop the match-play dynamo and win the opener in his Match Play debut. Now, Blixt will face Watson in Round 2. 

Peter Hanson (15) def. Dustin Johnson (2), 4 and 3: Johnson, who hadn’t finished worse than sixth in four starts this season, is a first-round loser for the fifth time in six years. Hanson reached the quarterfinals here in 2012. Now, the big Swede will face Victor Dubuisson in Round 2. 

Victor Dubuisson (7) def. Kevin Streelman (10), 5 and 4: The Frenchman made quick work of the American in his Match Play debut. Streelman made five bogeys in his first-ever appearance at Dove Mountain. Now, Dubuisson will face Hanson in Round 2. 

Hideki Matsuyama (5) def. Martin Kaymer (12), 2 and 1: One down on 14 tee against the former world No. 1, Matsuyama ran off wins on 14 and 15 to hold on to a narrow victory in his Match Play debut. Now, he will face Gary Woodland in Round 2.

Graeme McDowell (4) def. Gary Woodland (13), 19 holes: G-Mac was 4 down through seven holes, and 3 down with three to play, only to stage an improbable comeback and rally to win his opening match in extra holes. Now, McDowell will face Matsuyama in Round 2. 

Richard Sterne (16) def. Zach Johnson (1), 5 and 4: Johnson entered as one of the hottest players around, but Sterne gained the upper hand as the former Masters champ made only two birdies all day long. As a result, the 16-over-1 upset that has yet to occur in college basketball once again rears its head at the year's first WGC event. Now, he will face Mahan in Round 2.

Hunter Mahan (8) def. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (9), 3 and 2: Mahan, who won here in 2012 and lost in last year’s finals, pulled ahead on the back nine with wins on Nos. 10 and 11, then sealed the victory with a birdie on 15. Now, he will face Richard Sterne in Round 2.  


JONES BRACKET

George Coetzee (14) def. Steve Stricker (3), 3 and 1: Stricker dug himself an early hole in his 2014 debut, as Coetzee won each of the first two holes and made the turn with a 3-up advantage. Stricker battled back down the stretch, trimming the deficit to 1 down through 14, but his missed birdie attempt at No. 17 sealed the upset win for the South African. Now, he will face Patrick Reed in Round 2.

Patrick Reed (11) def. Graham DeLaet (6), 1 up: This was one of the more closely contested matches of the morning session, as the lead was never more than 1 up after the sixth hole. Reed gained the upper hand with a par on the 17th, though, and held on as DeLaet's lengthy birdie try on the closing hole came up just short. He'll now face Coetzee Thursday in a matchup of two surprise winners.

Billy Horschel (10) def. Jamie Donaldson (7), 6 and 5: This one was seemingly over before it started. While the pair only played 13 holes, Horschel managed to win eight of them, including four of the first six. The American then turned a somewhat close match into a rout by winning four of five from Nos. 9-13. Now, he'll face Jason Day in Round 2.

Jason Day (2) def. Thorbjorn Olesen (15), 2 up: The Aussie got all he could handle from Olesen, who won Nos. 15 and 16 to square the match after Day appeared to take control. The final two holes went to Day, however, who flagged his approach to the final green to essentially put the match on ice. He'll now face Horschel in a second-round matchup pitting two of the game's rising stars.

Webb Simpson (5) def. Thongchai Jaidee (12), 3 and 2: Simpson faced an early deficit after losing two of the first four holes, but battled back against Jaidee and gradually regained an advantage thanks to consistent play. The former U.S. Open champ played 15 holes of bogey-free golf Thursday, and as a result moved rather easily into the second round. Now, he will face Brandt Snedeker in Round 2.

Brandt Snedeker (4) def. David Lynn (13), 20 holes: Snedeker played from behind the whole afternoon and appeared to be on his way out before winning two of the final five holes to force overtime. After the 19th hole was split, the former FedEx Cup champ saved par to eliminate Lynn on the second extra hole and set up a match with Simpson, his former partner from last year's Presidents Cup.

Henrik Stenson (1) def. Kiradech Aphibarnrat (16), 2 and 1: The No. 1 overall seed had a scare in Round 1, but powered through to the second round after pouring in a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 16 and tacking on an 8-foot birdie on 17. Stenson was 1 down with five to play before the late rally, appearing as if he might become the fourth No. 1 overall seed to lose in the past five years. Instead, he will face the winner of the Louis Oosthuizen-Nick Watney match in Round 2. 

Louis Oosthuizen (8) def. Nick Watney (9), 1 up: Oosthuizen won five straight holes during the middle of the match to turn the tide, but Watney did not go quietly. The American notched three straight birdies from Nos. 15-17 to force the match to the 18th tee, but a two-putt par from the former Masters champ on the final hole was enough to put an end to the rally.


PLAYER BRACKET

Thomas Bjorn (6) def. Francesco Molinari (11), 2 and 1: Bjorn won the first hole Wednesday and, while he never led by more than 2 up, he also never trailed in the match. Molinari trimmed the Dane's lead to 1 up with a birdie on No. 16 but Bjorn returned the favor on the following hole, knocking in a 20-footer to clinch the match. Now, he will face Jordan Spieth in Round 2.

Jordan Spieth (3) def. Pablo Larrazabal (14), 2 up: This pair halved eight of their first 10 holes, but Spieth took control by winning three across a four-hole stretch from Nos. 12-15. Larrazabal cut the deficit to 1 up heading to 18 but his tee shot found the sand, and his hopes were dashed when his approach shot caught the lip and stayed in the bunker. Now, he will face Bjorn in Round 2.

Matt Kuchar (2) def. Bernd Wiesberger (15), 3 and 2: The defending champ had to sweat a bit on the front nine, but Kuchar took command of the match by winning four straight holes from Nos. 9-12. He appeared to clinch the match on the 14th green but forgot to move his coin back, resulting in a loss of hole and sparing Wiesberger temporarily. Kuchar was able to seal the deal (again) two holes later to move on to Thursday, when he will face Ryan Moore.

Ryan Moore (7) def. Joost Luiten (10), 1 up: Moore never trailed and held a 3-up advantage through 13 holes, but still had to survive a Luiten comeback that fell just short when the Dutchman's 15-foot birdie try at 18 grazed the edge. Moore now advances to face Kuchar in the second round, a match that will pit a pair of former U.S. Amateur champs against each other.

Matteo Manassero (12) def. Luke Donald (5), 5 and 4: The young Italian schooled the former world No. 1 Thursday, winning five of the first 10 holes. Manassero held on from there, sending the former Match Play champ to a surprisingly early exit after Donald won only a single hole during the match. Manassero will now face Jason Dufner.

Jason Dufner (4) def. Scott Stallings (13), 19 holes: Dufner was very much on the brink of elimination, 3 down with five holes to play before staging an impressive comeback. The reigning PGA champ won three of four holes to move the match into overtime, then closed out Stallings on the first extra hole. He'll now face Manassero after advancing to the second round for the first time in three career starts at Dove Mountain.

Justin Rose (1) def. Scott Piercy (16), 1 up: The Englishman was 1 up heading into 18, then two-putted from 50 feet to hold off Piercy. Making just his second start of the season, Rose hasn’t advanced past the second round since 2007. Now, he will face Els in Round 2.

Ernie Els (8) def. Stephen Gallacher (9), 19 holes: Gallacher missed 5-foot putts on both 17 and 18 that would have won him the sloppily played match in regulation, then he bogeyed the first extra hole to hand the victory to Els. Now, the Big Easy will face Rose in Round 2. 

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Masters champ Reed: 'I definitely had a chance'

By Will GrayJune 17, 2018, 11:55 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Patrick Reed’s Grand Slam bid made it all the way to the closing stretch of the final round at the U.S. Open.

Reed had never cracked the top 10 in a major championship before a runner-up finish at last year’s PGA Championship, and he followed that with a convincing victory at the Masters in April. In the U.S. Open, despite starting the final round three shots behind a quartet of co-leaders, he made a concerted effort to add a second major title.

With Shinnecock Hills declawed in response to third-round conditions that bordered on unplayable, Reed birdied each of his first three holes and five of his first seven to move to 1 over and within a shot of Brooks Koepka’s lead. He could get no closer, though, as three bogeys in a four-hole stretch on Nos. 9-12 effectively ended his title bid.

Reed finished alone in fourth place at 4 over, three shots behind Koepka after closing with a 2-under 68.


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“Of course, Grand Slam would have been nice. But you know, I mean honestly, to me, that was really the last thing on my mind,” Reed said. “It was go out, play some solid golf, try to post a number and see if you can get the job done. I had a chance. I definitely had a chance.”

It’s the third top-15 finish at the U.S. Open in the last four years for Reed, who tied for 13th at Chambers Bay and finished T-14 last year at Erin Hills.

Reed was bidding to erase a nine-shot deficit after 36 holes, which would have been the second-largest comeback in tournament history. He was also looking to join Craig Wood, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth on the short list of players to capture the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year.

“Of course it’s disappointing,” Reed said. “But at the same time … To finish in the top 10 my last three majors, and to have a chance to really win all three of them and to close one off, it means a lot.”

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Watching Koepka, Fleetwood knew he was one shot short

By Will GrayJune 17, 2018, 11:33 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – In the end, even a record-tying performance wasn’t enough for Tommy Fleetwood at the U.S. Open.

Fleetwood started the final round at Shinnecock Hills six shots off the pace, but he quickly moved up the board with a run of four birdies over his first seven holes. He added four more in a row on Nos. 12-15, and he had a 9-footer for birdie on No. 18 to become the first player to ever shoot a 62 in the U.S. Open.

He missed, and that proved to be the difference – for both the record and the tournament.

Fleetwood waited around in player hospitality for the next three hours while the leaders finished, alternating between watching the golf (with sandwich in hand) and playing with his newborn son, Frankie. He was on the chipping green when Brooks Koepka completed play at 1-over 281, successfully defending his title and finishing one shot ahead of Fleetwood.

“Brooks kept giving me like a little bit of hope, and then he’d hole a putt just to stab you in the stomach a little bit,” Fleetwood said. “I always just had that feeling that I was one shy, so I never really got massively, massively excited.”


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This was the first year the U.S. Open would have gone to a two-hole, aggregate playoff, so Fleetwood needed to stay loose for a possible overtime that in previous years would have instead been an 18-hole playoff on Monday. He emerged from the locker room and headed to the range to warm up after Koepka birdied No. 16 to take a two-shot lead with two holes to play.

“I just thought, 'I should really go up, because you never know,'” Fleetwood said. “I mean, the worst thing that could happen is if something did happen and I wasn’t really ready, so it’s better warming up with that intention.”

The solo runner-up is a career-best major finish for Fleetwood, who also finished fourth last year at Erin Hills. He now shares a piece of tournament history, becoming just the sixth player to shoot a 63, joining a list that includes Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf, Johnny Miller, Vijay Singh and Justin Thomas.

And after torching a demanding layout to the tune of eight birdies, he insisted he won’t dwell much on the final putt that got away – even though Koepka’s closing bogey meant that it ultimately made the difference.

“The putt on 18, I actually wanted more for the 62 at the time, and then it became a thing for the tournament,” Fleetwood said. “Obviously, that’s the putt that will play on your mind because that was the last shot you hit and that was your chance. But I missed some putts in the week, and I made some putts. I think everybody did. And your score is your score. And for me, just getting that close to winning a major again, I think that is the ultimate thing I’ll take from it.”

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DJ and more congratulate Koepka on social media

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 17, 2018, 11:31 pm

Brooks Koepka won his second consecutive U.S. Open title at Shinnecock Hills. Dustin Johnson, his friend and playing competitor on Sunday, was quick to congratulate Koepka. And he wasn't alone.






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Firefighter Parziale ties for low am with dad on bag

By Associated PressJune 17, 2018, 11:07 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Leaning on his club, Matt Parziale crossed one leg over the other and placed the free hand on his hip. His caddie mirrored his position and used Parziale's bag as his source of support. The two looked almost identical, just one older than the other.

Being related will do that.

Parziale's dad, Vic Parziale, has been with his son throughout his entire U.S. Open journey, starting Monday and ending Father's Day. Matt finished 5 over par Sunday to tie for low amateur at 16 over for the tournament.

''We do stand alike out there,'' Vic said. ''It's funny.''

Said Matt: ''I don't like it, but that's how life goes.''

He's kidding. The idea of turning into his dad doesn't scare him.

''He's the best guy I know,'' Matt said. ''If I can be half that good, I'll be doing all right.''


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It's a classic like father, like son relationship.

Matt, 31, is a full-time firefighter back home in Brockton, Massachusetts. Vic retired from the same station last year after 32 years.

The two, obviously, also share a love for golf.

''He stinks now,'' Matt said. ''I'd have to play pretty bad to let him win. He used to be much better than he is now.''

Matt says he was 14 the first time he beat his dad. Vic says his son was 15. Either way, once Matt beat Vic's 73 by a stroke as a teenager, it was game over.

Vic never beat his son again.

''Golf skipped a generation for sure,'' Vic said. ''Because I don't play like him.''

As the first mid-amateur to make a cut at the U.S. Open in 15 years, Matt's second round was his best, carding a 73 with a birdie on No. 18 that guaranteed him a spot in the final rounds.

On the last day, Matt shot a 75 to end up at 296, the same mark fellow amateur Luis Gagne scored. Will Grimmer was the only other amateur to make the cut, and he finished 23 over at 303. The tournament started with 20 amateurs.

This was Matt's first U.S. Open. He played at the Masters earlier this year, but did not advance after two rounds. Vic was his caddie there, too.

''Mostly, I just carry the bag and keep my mouth shut,'' Vic said.

His specialty is wind: Matt does go to his dad for advice there. It helped this week.

''I don't get paid,'' Vic said. ''I don't want to be, of course. I just love doing it.''

The two have worked alongside each other for as long as either can remember. After college at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, Matt turned pro but called it quits after a couple years when it didn't pay off financially. That's when he became a firefighter.

But Matt never fully gave up golf, regaining his amateur status and going on to win the U.S. Mid-Amateur championship back in October. Vic caddied, of course.

''It's not something that happened over night,'' Vic said. ''He just wasn't lucky getting here. He really worked hard on his game.''

Being a firefighter actually allows him to practice and compete often. Matt works two 24-hour shifts a week.

He's not returning straight to his full-time job immediately, though. His upcoming golf schedule is packed. Starting Wednesday, Matt will compete in the Northeast Amateur tournament. Then he'll have the U.S. Amateur - after he gets married on Aug. 3 - and more.

Wherever and whatever, Vic will be standing nearby.

''He's always given me the opportunity to succeed,'' Matt said. ''None of this is possible without his support and his help.''