WGC-Accenture Match Play: Fun facts and figures

By February 20, 2012, 3:36 pm

Now in its 14th year, the WGC-Accenture Match Play has developed some patterns and trends which carry over into the bracket this week. Here are ten trends which might help in picking a winner at Dove Mountain.

1. 23 Americans are in the field this week and would have been 24 if Phil Mickelson had played this week. That's down two from last year, but up from a low of 17 in 2009.

2. 10 Americans are in the Ben Hogan bracket. The Hogan winner takes on the Jones winner, which features seven Yankees. On the other half of the bracket, there are just six Americans.

3. An American has not reached the finals of the Match Play since 2008, when Tiger Woods decimated Stewart Cink by a margin of 8 and 7. In all but one of the seven American wins in the event, both finalists were from the U.S.

4. The longest match in the event's history is 26 holes, played between Scott Verplank and Lee Westwood in the 2006 first round. Since then, the longest match was Rod Pampling defeating Vijay Singh in 25 holes in 2008.

5. Tiger Woods has a knack for going extra holes. Woods had 20-hole contests with Australians in consecutive years, in the third round of the '07 and '08 event.

6. Woods carries the longest winning streak in the history of this event, taking 13 straight matches from 2003 to 2005. Nick O'Hern was the man to end the run, with a 3-and-1 win in the '05 second round.

7. Only one winner this season on the PGA Tour did not qualify for the event. Sony Open champion Johnson Wagner will instead defend his title at the Mayakoba Classic. Four of six different winners on the European Tour will make it. The two exclusions are both South African – Branden Grace and Jbe Kruger.

8. Of the nine 2012 PGA and European Tour winners in the field this week, all but one are set to face another fellow winner in the second round. Aaron Baddeley would take on Steve Stricker, Brandt Snedeker would reprise his playoff with Kyle Stanley, Mark Wilson would get Robert Rock and Bill Haas would take on Paul Lawrie. Rafael Cabrera-Bello is the only player spared.

9. In the last three WGC-Accenture Match Plays, the defending champions have won a combined two matches and never escaped the second round.

10. The British Commonwealth has dominated this championship in the last four years. The English have won the last two – Luke Donald last year and Ian Poulter in '10 – with Geoff Ogilvy taking the '09 title.

Join the Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge and make your Match Play picks today.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 12:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch.

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

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Fleetwood, with his fancy umbrella, fires 65 on Day 2

By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 12:34 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Tommy Fleetwood looked like an Open rookie when he set out on Friday under gray skies and a cold, steady rain.

Because the Englishman doesn’t have an equipment sponsor he made a quick turn through the merchandise tent for an umbrella – but at least he didn’t have to pay for it.

“We stole it,” he laughed when asked about his Open-brand umbrella. “We got one given for free, actually. We didn't steal it. We don't always carry an umbrella. So it just so happens this week that we've got a nice Open Championship [umbrella]. It looked quite nice, the yellow and the course.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

It was Fleetwood’s only rookie move on Day 2 at Carnoustie, posting a flawless 65 to move into an early tie for second place at 5 under par.

Fleetwood holds the competitive course record at Carnoustie, a 9-under 63 he shot last fall during the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, but given Friday’s conditions and the difficulty of this course during The Open, his 65 on Friday might have been better.

“It's not a course record, but it's pretty good,” said Fleetwood, who was stroke behind leader Zach Johnson. “If you went out, you wouldn't really fancy being 6 under out there. So I think that's a good indication of how good it was.”

It was a dramatic turnaround for Fleetwood on Friday. He said he struggled with his ball-striking, specifically his tee shots, on Day 1, but he was able to turn things around with an hour-long session on the range following his opening round.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.

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McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

Said Harmon:

“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.