WGC-Accenture Match Play Round 1 results

By Will GrayFebruary 22, 2013, 1:24 am

After weather delays plagued the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship for much of Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, players are once again on the course at Dove Mountain. Check back here for recaps of matches as they finish to see which players have survived Round 1, and which players have already been sent home:

HOGAN BRACKET

(6) Matt Kuchar def. (11) Hiroyuki Fujita, 3 and 2: Kuchar was well ahead throughout the match Wednesday, and had a chance to close out Fujita both on his final hole yesterday and first hole today. It took until the 16th to end the match, but Kuchar advances.

(3) Sergio Garcia def. (14) Thongchai Jaidee, 20 holes: Garcia appeared in control of this match, holding a 2-up lead and standing on the 16th green when the horn blew Wednesday. He began his day Thursday with a three-putt from 12 feet, though, and Jaidee birdied No. 18 to force extra holes. After the Thai lipped out a birdie putt to win on the first extra hole, Garcia's two-putt birdie on the 20th ended Jaidee's comeback bid.

(10) Nicolas Colsaerts def. (7) Bill Haas, 5 and 4: One of the standouts from last year's Ryder Cup, Colsaerts defeated the 2011 FedEx Cup champion in convincing fashion. A 3-up leader to begin the day, the Belgian easily closed out Haas, who remains winless in this event after a third straight early exit. 

(2) Justin Rose def. (15) K.J. Choi, 2 and 1: After building an early 4-up lead Wednesday, Rose saw his advantage vanish as Choi battled back. The Englishman took back the upper hand Thursday, though, and held on for a narrow victory. An intriguing second-round matchup with Colsaerts now awaits.

(13) Marcus Fraser def. (4) Keegan Bradley, 1 up: Though it appeared that Bradley would seize momentum after holing out from the fairway for an eagle on the 10th hole, the little-known Australian was able stay in the match down the back nine. A birdie on the 17th gave him a 1-up lead, and Fraser pulled off the upset when both players bogied the home hole.

(12) Fredrik Jacobson def. (5) Ernie Els: After missing a short putt to make the playoff at last week's Northern Trust Open, Jacobson was able to bounce back against the British Open champion. The match was squared with only a few holes remaining, but Els saw two short putts slide by down the stretch, including a three-putt on the final hole that cost him the match.

(9) Robert Garrigus def. (8) Branden Grace, 3 and 2: Garrigus put together one of the more impressive performances Thursday, birdieing five of his first eight holes en route to a 4-up lead. He was able to keep the South African at bay across the back nine, maintaining at least a 4-up advantage from the seventh hole onward.

(1) Louis Oosthuizen def. (16) Richie Ramsay, 2 and 1: The former British Open champion appeared in trouble against the 2006 U.S. Amateur champion, as Ramsay held a 2-up lead after 11 holes. Oosthuizen won the next four holes in a row, though, bringing an end to any upset plans the Scot may have been formulating.


SNEAD BRACKET

(6) Bo Van Pelt def. (11) John Senden, 6 and 5: Senden got out to an early lead in this match Wednesday, but Van Pelt won six straight holes before play was halted. With only a chip and a conceded putt Thursday, Van Pelt closed out the Aussie to advance to the second round.

(3) Ian Poulter def. (14) Stephen Gallacher, 2 and 1: A champion here in 2010, Poulter continued the match play success that was on display at last year's Ryder Cup. Beginning Thursday's play with a 3-up lead and only six holes to go, he was able to finally close out the Scot on the 17th green.

(10) Thorbjorn Olesen def. (7) Jamie Donaldson, 3 and 2: One of the brightest young stars on the European Tour, Olesen never trailed in the match. A 3-up leader when play was halted Wednesday, the Dane was able to maintain that lead Thursday before closing out the Welshman on the 16th green.

(15) Tim Clark def. (2) Adam Scott, 2 and 1: In a battle of anchored putters, the diminutive South African emerged victorious. Scott began the day with a slim 1-up lead, but Clark battled back before taking the lead for good on the 16th hole, closing out the Australian one hole later.

(4) Steve Stricker def. (13) Henrik Stenson, 5 and 4: Despite making his first start since Kapalua, Stricker was staked to an early lead as Stenson bogeyed each of the first three holes Wednesday. The 2007 Match Play champ was never able to mount a rally, as Stricker held at least a 3-up lead from the fifth hole onward.

(5) Nick Watney def. (12) David Toms, 5 and 4: Though Toms has a solid history in this event, Watney never trailed in this match. Winning three straight holes from Nos. 10-12 allowed the Californian to take control of things, setting up an all-American second-round matchup with Stricker.

(9) Scott Piercy def. (8) Paul Lawrie, 4 and 3: Piercy grabbed each of the first two holes in the match, and Lawrie was never able to recover. The long-hitting American went on to notch three birdies in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 12-15 to close out the Scot in convincing fashion.

(1) Luke Donald def. (16) Marcel Siem, 1 up: Donald appeared to have the match well in hand, making the turn with a 2-up lead, only to see the German win holes 10-12 to take a 1-up advantage. The Englishman quickly leveled the match, though, and a birdie on the 18th hole gave him the win just before darkness fell at Dove Mountain.


JONES BRACKET

(11) Jason Day def. (6) Zach Johnson, 6 and 5: Day was able to put the pressure on the former Masters champion early Wednesday, building a 6-up lead before play stopped. With three holes played Thursday, the Aussie completed the day's first upset.

(14) Russell Henley def. (3) Charl Schwartzel, 1 up: Henley got out to a 2-up lead early in the match, but the former Masters champ drew even when play stopped Wednesday. Henley was able to re-take the lead Thursday, and held on for a remarkable upset over the South African that was a popular pick to win it all this week.

(7) Jim Furyk def. (10) Ryan Moore, 4 and 2: Furyk never trailed in this match, amassing as much as a 4-up lead early in the back nine. The former U.S. Open champ moves on, largely thanks to four birdies across a five-hole stretch from Nos. 10-14.

(2) Bubba Watson def. (15) Chris Wood, 2 and 1: The reigning Masters champ received a stern test from Wood, as the Englishman trimmed Watson's advantage to 1-up with three holes remaining. After a long birdie putt on 16 and a conceded birdie from short range a hole later, though, the No. 2 seed in the Jones Bracket was able to advance. 

(13) Alexander Noren def. (4) Dustin Johnson, 6 and 4: Still looking to find his form since a season-opening win at Kapalua, Johnson was unable to win a single hole during his opening-round match. The Swede advanced easily, still with aspirations of cracking the top 50 in the world and qualifying for the WGC-Cadillac Championship in two weeks.

(5) Graeme McDowell def. (12) Padraig Harrington, 2 up: In one of the day's more anticipated matchups, the Ulsterman never trailed but did receive a challenge from Harrington. McDowell's 3-up lead was eliminated by three straight birdies from the three-time major champ at holes 13-15, but a bogey by Harrington on the 16th hole gave McDowell a lead that he would not again relinquish.

(16) Shane Lowry def. (1) Rory McIlroy, 1 up: In the day's biggest upset, the top overall seed in the tournament was ousted after just one round. Lowry chipped in twice to build a back-nine lead, then held off a late charge from the Ulsterman to secure the surprise win and advance to the second round.

(9) Carl Pettersson def. (8) Rickie Fowler, 19 holes: The Swede appeared ready to close out this match before darkness fell, but Fowler mounted a back-nine rally to extend matters to Friday. A birdie from Fowler on 18 Friday morning forced extras, but a wayward drive on the 19th gave the match to the Swede.


PLAYER BRACKET

(6) Hunter Mahan def. (11) Matteo Manassero, 5 and 4: Mahan got off to a hot start Wednesday, turning with a 4-up advantage when play stopped. He was able finish off the young Italian early Thursday, becoming the first defending champion since 2010 to win his opening match the following year.

(14) Richard Sterne def. (3) Jason Dufner, 1 up: Though Schwartzel got the pre-tournament billing as the hot player hailing from South Africa, Sterne has been no slouch in his own right. The Joburg Open champion held off a comeback from Dufner, closing out the American on the home hole to become the second No. 14 seed to advance to the second round.

(7) Martin Kaymer def. (10) George Coetzee, 2 and 1: The South African entered as one of the hotter players in this week's field, but was unable to overcome the 2010 PGA champion. Kaymer increased his lead to 2-up with an eagle on 13 and was able to hold on from there.

(15) Rafael Cabrera-Bello def. (2) Lee Westwood, 19 holes: Westwood led for nearly the entire match, and held a 2-up advantage heading to the 12th hole. The Spaniard rallied though, forcing extra holes when Westwood bogied the 18th and winning the match with a birdie on the first extra hole.

(4) Webb Simpson def. (13) David Lynn, 5 and 4: The reigning U.S. Open champion advanced easily Thursday, turning a 3-up lead at the turn into an even bigger advantage as the Englishman carded five bogeys in his first 11 holes.

(5) Peter Hanson def. (12) Thomas Bjorn, 3 and 2: The Dane held an early lead in this match, building a 2-up lead at the turn. Hanson went on to win five of the next six holes though to turn the tide, and will now face Simpson in the second round.

(16) Charles Howell III def. (1) Tiger Woods, 2 and 1: In the only opening-round match where neither player made a bogey, Howell never trailed. With the match all square, he grabbed the lead with a tap-in birdie at 15, then essentially sealed the victory with a lengthy birdie putt one hole later.

(8) Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano def. Francesco Molinari (2 up): This match was tight throughout, with things ending all square Thursday night with three holes remaining. The Italian bogeyed two of the three holes played Friday, though, and Fernandez-Castano joins countrymen Garcia and Cabrera-Bello in the second round.

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Asia offers chance for players to get early jump on season

By Rex HoggardOctober 17, 2018, 6:00 pm

When the field at this week’s CJ Cup tees off for Round 1 just past dinner time on the East Coast Wednesday most golf fans will still be digesting the dramatic finish to the 2017-18 season, which wrapped up exactly 24 days ago, or reliving a Ryder Cup that didn’t go well for the visiting team.

Put another way, the third event of the new season will slip by largely unnoticed, the victim of a crowded sports calendar and probably a dollop of burnout.

What’ll be lost in this three-event swing through Asia that began last week in Kuala Lumpur at the CIMB Classic is how important these events have become to Tour players, whether they count themselves among the star class or those just trying to keep their jobs.

The Asian swing began in 2009 with the addition of the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, although it would be a few years before the event earned full status on Tour, and expanded in 2010 with the addition of the CIMB Classic. This week’s stop in South Korea was added last season and as the circuit transitions to a condensed schedule and earlier finish next year there are persistent rumors that the Tour plans to expand even more in the Far East with sources saying an event in Japan would be a likely landing spot.

Although these events resonate little in the United States because of the time zone hurdles, for players, the Asian swing has become a key part of the schedule.

Consider that seven of the top 10 performers last year in Asia advanced to the Tour Championship and that success wasn’t mutually exclusive to how these players started their season in Asia.

For players looking to get a jump on the new season, the three Asian stops are low-hanging fruit, with all three featuring limited fields and no cut where players are guaranteed four rounds and FedExCup points.

For a player like Pat Perez, his performances last October virtually made his season, with the veteran winning the CIMB Classic and finishing tied for fifth place at the CJ Cup. All total, Perez, who played all three Asian events last year, earned 627 FedExCup points - more than half (53 percent) of his regular-season total.

Keegan Bradley and Cameron Smith also made the most of the tournaments in Asia, earning 34 and 36 percent, respectively, of their regular-season points in the Far East. On average, the top 10 performers in Asia last year earned 26 percent of their regular-season points in what was essentially a fraction of their total starts.

“It's just a place that I've obviously played well,” Justin Thomas, a three-time winner in Asia, said last week in Kuala Lumpur. “I'm comfortable. I think being a little bit of a longer hitter you have an advantage, but I mean, the fact of the matter is that I've just played well the years I played here.”

Perhaps the biggest winner in Asia last season was Justin Rose, who began a torrid run with his victory at the WGC-HSBC Champions, and earned 28 percent of his regular-season points (550) in the Far East on his way to winning the FedExCup by just 41 points.

But it’s not just the stars who have made the most of the potential pot of Asian gold.

Lucas Glover finished tied for seventh at the CIMB Classic, 15th at the CJ Cup and 50th in China in 2017 to earn 145 of his 324 regular-season points (45 percent). Although that total was well off the pace to earn Glover a spot in the postseason and a full Tour card, it was enough to secure him conditional status in 2018-19.

Similarly, Camilo Villegas tied for 17th in Kuala Lumpur and 36th in South Korea to earn 67 of his 90 points, the difference between finishing 193rd on the regular-season point list and 227th. While it may seem like a trivial amount to the average fan, it allowed Villegas to qualify for the Web.com Tour Finals and a chance to re-earn his Tour card.

With this increasingly nuanced importance have come better fields in Asia (which were largely overlooked the first few years), with six of the top 30 players in the Official World Golf Ranking making the trip last week to Malaysia and this week’s tee sheet in South Korea featuring two of the top 5 in world - No. 3 Brooks Koepka and No. 4 Thomas.

“I finished 11th here last year and 11th in China the next week. If I can try and improve on that, get myself in contention and possibly win, it sets up the whole year. That's why I've come back to play,” Jason Day said this week of his decision to play the Asian swing.

For many golf fans in the United States, the next few weeks will be a far-flung distraction until the Tour arrives on the West Coast early next year, but for the players who are increasingly starting to make the trip east, it’s a crucial opportunity to get a jump on the season.

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Watch: Woods uses computer code to make robotic putt

By Jason CrookOctober 17, 2018, 3:10 pm

Robots have been plotting their takeover of the golf world for some time.

First it was talking trash to Rory McIlroy, then it was making a hole-in-one at TPC Scottsdale's famous 16th hole ... and now they're making putts for Tiger Woods.

Woods tweeted out a video on Tuesday draining a putt without ever touching the ball:

The 42-year-old teamed up with a computer program to make the putt, and provided onlookers with a vintage Tiger celebration, because computers can't do that ... yet.

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Woods admits fatigue played factor in Ryder Cup

By Jason CrookOctober 17, 2018, 12:35 pm

There was plenty of speculation about Tiger Woods’ health in the wake of the U.S. team’s loss to Europe at last month’s Ryder Cup, and the 14-time major champ broke his silence on the matter during a driving range Q&A at his annual Tiger Woods Invitational at Pebble Beach on Tuesday.

Woods, who went 0-4 in Paris, admitted he was tired because he wasn’t ready to play so much golf this season after coming back from a fourth back surgery.

“It was just a cumulative effect of the entire season,” Woods said. “I was tired because I hadn’t trained for it. I hadn’t trained this entire comeback to play this much golf and on top of that deal with the heat and the fatigue and the loss of weight.”

The topic of conversation then shifted to what's next, with Woods saying he's just starting to plan out his future schedule, outside of "The Match" with Phil Mickelson over Thanksgiving weekend and his Hero World Challenge in December.

“I’m still figuring that out,” Woods said. “Flying out here yesterday trying to look at the schedule, it’s the first time I’ve taken a look at it. I’ve been so focused on getting through the playoffs and the Ryder Cup that I just took a look at the schedule and saw how packed it is.”

While his exact schedule remains a bit of a mystery, one little event in April at Augusta National seemed to be on his mind already.

When asked which major he was most looking forward to next year, Woods didn't hesitate with his response, “Oh, that first one.”

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Podcast: Fujikawa aims to offer 'hope' by coming out

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 17, 2018, 12:03 pm

Tadd Fujikawa first made golf history with his age. Now he's doing it with his recent decision to openly discuss his sexuality.

Last month Fujikawa announced via Instagram that he is gay, becoming the first male professional to come out publicly. Now 27, he has a different perspective on life than he did when he became the youngest U.S. Open participant in 2006 at Winged Foot at age 15, or when he made the cut at the Sony Open a few months later.

Joining as the guest on the latest Golf Channel podcast, Fujikawa discussed with host Will Gray the reception to his recent announcement - as well as some of the motivating factors that led the former teen phenom to become somewhat of a pioneer in the world of men's professional golf.

"I just want to let people know that they're enough, and that they're good exactly as they are," Fujikawa said. "That they don't need to change who they are to fit society's mold. Especially in the golf world where it's so, it's not something that's very common."

The wide-ranging interview also touched on Fujikawa's adjustment to life on golf-centric St. Simons Island, Ga., as well as some of his hobbies outside the game. But he was also candid about the role that anxiety and depression surrounding his sexuality had on his early playing career, admitting that he considered walking away from the game "many, many times" and would have done so had it not been for the support of friends and family.

While professional golf remains a priority, Fujikawa is also embracing the newfound opportunity to help others in a similar position.

"Hearing other stories, other athletes, other celebrities, my friends. Just seeing other people come out gave me a lot of hope in times when I didn't feel like there was a lot of hope," he said. "For me personally, it was something that I've wanted to do for a long time, and something I'm very passionate about. I really want to help other people who are struggling with that similar issue. And if I can change lives, that's really my goal."

For more from Fujikawa, click below or click here to download the podcast and subscribe to future episodes: