2014 World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship
(The 13th of 41 events in the PGA TOUR Season)
Marana, Ariz. Feb. 19-23, 2014 Purse: $9,000,000 ($1,530,000 to the winner)
The Golf Club at Dove Mountain Par/Yards: 36-36–72/7,791
Third-Round Notes – Friday, February 23, 2014
Hazy sunshine and pleasant conditions with an afternoon high in the upper 70s. Winds out of the west/northwest at 6-12 mph.
Breakdown of the field of 64 players, by country:
To start the first round:
International players: 37
U.S. players: 27
Countries represented: 19
Largest international contingent: South Africa (6)
After the third round:
International players: 5
U.S. players: 3
Countries represented: 5
Largest international contingent: South Africa (2)
Winners of the 16 matches by country (Number of players initially in the field in parentheses)
United States (27)
Keegan Bradley (R1)
Jason Dufner (R3)
Harris English (R3)
Bill Haas (R2)
Billy Horschel (R2)
Zach Johnson (R1)
Dustin Johnson (R1)
Chris Kirk (R1)
Matt Kuchar (R3)
Hunter Mahan (R3)
Ryan Moore (R2)
Scott Piercy (R1)
Patrick Reed (R2)
Webb Simpson (R3)
Brandt Snedeker (R2)
Kevin Stadler (R1)
Scott Stallings (R1)
Kevin Streelman (R1)
Steve Stricker (R1)
Jimmy Walker (R2)
Nick Watney (R1)
Bubba Watson (R3)
Boo Weekley (R1)
Gary Woodland (R1)
South Africa (6)
George Coetzee (R3)
Branden Grace (R1)
Charl Schwartzel (R2)
Richard Sterne (R2)
Luke Donald (R1)
David Lynn (R1)
Ian Poulter (R1)
Justin Rose (R2)
Lee Westwood (R1)
Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (R1)
Sergio Garcia (R3)
Miguel A Jimenez (R1)
Pablo Larrazabal (R1)
Jonas Blixt (R2)
Peter Hanson (R2)
Henrik Stenson (R2)
Marc Leishman (R1)
Thomas Bjorn (R2)
Matteo Manassero (R2)
Francesco Molinari (R1)
Northern Ireland (2)
Rory McIlroy (R2)
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (R1)
Thongchai Jaidee (R1)
Bernd Wiesberger (R1)
Graham DeLaet (R1)
Mikko Ilonen (R1)
Martin Kaymer (R1)
Hideki Matsuyama (R2)
Joost Luiten (R1)
Stephen Gallacher (R1)
Jamie Donaldson (R1)
For the final three rounds, if matches are all-square after regulation, extra holes will begin at No. 1, 9, 10, 14-18.
Five of the eight players who advanced are making their first appearance in the quarterfinals.
Updated all-time Accenture Match Play Championship Records for eight remaining players:
Player W-L Best Finish Years Entered
Jason Day 11-3 3rd (2013) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Victor Dubuisson 3-0 N/A 2014
Ernie Els 15-14 4th (2001) 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Rickie Fowler 5-3 T9 (2011) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Jim Furyk 15-13 T9 (4 times) 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Graeme McDowell 9-7 T5 (2013) 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Louis Oosthuizen 5-4 T17 (2012, 2013) 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Jordan Spieth 3-0 N/A 2014
All-time Accenture Match Play Championship Third-Round Results:
1999 – 4 of 8 matches won by top seed
2000 – 7 of 8 matches won by top seed
2001 – 2 of 8 matches won by top seed
2002 – 5 of 8 matches won by top seed
2003 – 4 of 8 matches won by top seed
2004 – 5 of 8 matches won by top seed
2005 – 4 of 8 matches won by top seed
2006 – 1 of 8 matches won by top seed
2007 – 5 of 8 matches won by top seed
2008 – 6 of 8 matches won by top seed
2009 – 5 of 8 matches won by top seed
2010 – 6 of 8 matches won by top seed
2011 – 6 of 8 matches won by top seed
2012 – 3 of 8 matches won by top seed
2013 – 7 of 8 matches won by top seed
2014 – 3 of 8 matches won by top seed
History of upsets (lower seed defeating higher seed)
Year Round 3
The lowest-ranked player to survive the third round is No. 53 Rickie Fowler (defeated No. 6 Sergio Garcia). The highest seed to advance is No. 8 Jason Day (defeated No. 56 George Coetzee).
The lowest-seeded player to win the Accenture Match Play Championship:
No. 62, Kevin Sutherland, 2002
No. 55, Steve Stricker, 2001
No. 52, Geoff Ogilvy, 2006
First-time Participants: 19
Of the 19 first-time participants at the 2014 Accenture Match Play Championship, eight advanced to the second round; three advanced to the second round; two advanced to the quarterfinals. Geoff Ogilvy is the only player (other than Jeff Maggert in the first event in 1999) to win the Accenture Match Play Championship in his first start (2006).
First-time participants (underlined), third-round results (Dubuisson is competing in his first World Golf Championships event):
Victor Dubuisson (No. 27) defeated Bubba Watson (No. 11), 1 up
Jordan Spieth (No. 10) defeated Matt Kuchar (No. 7), 2 and 1
Jim Furyk (No. 20) defeated Harris English (No. 36), 1 up
Match No. 49 – Jim Furyk (No. 20) defeated Harris English (No. 36), 1 up
Jim Furyk was 0-4 in his third-round appearances at the Accenture Match Play Championship (2000, 2002, 2003, 2009), and it looked as if that pattern would continue when three early bogeys put the 43-year-old 3 down through six holes to Harris English.
A bogey by English on the seventh and 10th holes, however, seemed to change the momentum of the match, and Furyk squared things up with a 9-foot birdie putt on the par-3 12th.
In all, Furyk made four birdies on the back nine – including a chip-in birdie on the 16th – compared to first-time participant English's three birdies and two bogeys.
In his three matches this week, Furyk has fought back from an early deficit. In round one, he was 2 down through two holes to Chris Kirk; In round two, he was 2 down through three holes to Charl Schwartzel; and in round three, he was 2 down through three holes.
With the guarantee of at least a T5 finish, this will be Furyk's first top 10 since finishing third at the 2013 BMW Championship (September 15).
A win on Sunday would make Furyk the second-oldest winner of a World Golf Championships event:
Furyk, winner of the 2003 U.S. Open, could become the 12th player to own both a World Golf Championships title and a major championship title, joining Keegan Bradley, Stewart Cink, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Martin Kaymer, Geoff Ogilvy, Justin Rose, Vijay Singh, David Toms, Mike Weir and Tiger Woods.
English leaves Tucson with a T9 finish, a TOUR-leading sixth top-10 finish in 10 starts – and third consecutive – for the 2013-14 season.
Match No. 50 – Rickie Fowler (No. 53) defeated Sergio Garcia (No. 6), 1 up
Rickie Fowler was as many as 3 down to Sergio Garcia through eight holes before reeling off three consecutive birdies on holes No. 9-11 to carve the deficit to 1 down. Fowler holed a 14-1/2 foot birdie putt on the 16th and a 4-footer for birdie on the 18th to send Garcia home. The 1-up lead on the 18th hole was the only time Fowler led all day.
The story of the match, however, was that Garcia halved the seventh hole with Fowler after he felt he had taken too long on No. 6 (relief from a bees' nest). Fowler was facing a par putt of 17 feet, 7 inches while Garcia had a par putt of just 6 feet, 11 inches from the hole.
Fowler advances to the quarterfinals for the first time in his four starts at the Accenture Match Play Championship. In his five matches won, he's defeated players with a combined record - at the time of the match - of 57-37, including Garcia, who was 15-12 entering today's match. That trend will be tested tomorrow, as Fowler takes on veteran Jim Furyk, who owns a 15-13 Accenture Match Play Championship record.
Fowler and Furyk were paired together at the 2010 Ryder Cup, Session 2 Foursomes, where they halved with Lee Westwood/Martin Kaymer
Garcia continued his trend of close matches that come down to the last few holes – or extend into extra holes. His first-round match went 22 holes; his second-round match with Bill Haas ended with a Garcia birdie on the 17th hole; and today's match with Fowler ended on the 18th hole. In total, Garcia's 28 career matches have averaged 16.964 holes.
Match No. 51 – Graeme McDowell (No. 14) defeated Hunter Mahan (No. 30), 21 holes
After a dramatic come-from-behind victory in rounds one and two, Graeme McDowell took it down to the wire again in his third-round match against 2012 Accenture Match Play Championship winner Hunter Mahan.
McDowell once again spent the entire match behind, but he made a 6-foot birdie on the 18th hole to send the match into extra holes. The two matched pars on holes No. 19-20, although it was a dramatic 20-foot par save by McDowell that kept the match going.
McDowell put the match away with a 14-footer for birdie on the 21st hole; Mahan had missed the green with his approach.
McDowell has never led – until the end – of his three matches so far this week. He's been all square on 12 of 58 holes played.
This was the longest match of Mahan's Accenture Match Play Championship career and he's now 1-2 in extra holes. He lost to Steve Stricker in 20 holes, R2, 2008; and he defeated Zach Johnson in 19 holes, R1, 2012.
Match No. 52 – Victor Dubuisson (No. 27) defeats Bubba Watson (No. 11), 1 up
Bubba Watson bogeyed the first hole to go 1 down to France's Victor Dubuisson, the first time Watson had trailed in a match since the 13th hole in round one. Another bogey on No. 5 put him in a 2-down hole, and from there, Watson was unable to put any consistent pressure on his opponent, as he went bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie on holes No. 10-15. Watson birdied No. 17 to cut Dubuisson's lead to 1 up, but hampered any chances of squaring the match when he missed the green on 18.
Dubuisson has never trailed in any of his three matches this week. In fact, he has led outright except for two holes: he was all square on hole No. 1 with Kevin Streelman in round one; and he was all square with Peter Hanson on hole No. 4 in round two.
Dubuisson is one of two first-time participants still in the field; he is the only remaining first-timer making his first career World Golf Championships start. Geoff Ogilvy is the only player (other than Jeff Maggert in the first event in 1999) to win the Accenture Match Play Championship in his first start (2006). Aside from Maggert, no player has won a World Golf Championships event in his first WGC start.
Match No. 53 – Louis Oosthuizen (No. 32) defeated Webb Simpson (No. 17), 5 and 4
Louis Oosthuizen put on a flawless performance in the third round, going 1 up on Webb Simpson with an eagle-three on the second hole and adding four more birdies in a span of eight holes (No. 6-13) to build a 5-up lead through 13.
This is the largest margin of victory in Oosthuizen's Accenture Match Play Championship career, besting round-two's 4-and-3 result over Henrik Stenson.
Oosthuizen, winner of the 2010 Open Championship, could become the 12th player to own both a World Golf Championships title and a major championship title, joining Keegan Bradley, Stewart Cink, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Martin Kaymer, Geoff Ogilvy, Justin Rose, Vijay Singh, David Toms, Mike Weir and Tiger Woods.
Oosthuizen would join Kaymer (2010 PGA Championship, 2011, HSBC Champions) as the only players to make their first two PGA TOUR victories a major championship and a World Golf Championships event.
Match No. 54 – Jason Day (No. 8) defeated George Coetzee (No. 56), 3 and 1
Unlike his first two rounds, Jason Day got up early on his opponent in round three; he didn't take the lead in round one until the 11th hole, and he never led until the end of his 22-hole match in round two. Day was 2 up after nine holes, then added four birdies on the back nine to put the match out of reach. Day made seven birdies over the course of his first two matches, compared to six total birdies in round three.
Last year, Day lost in the semi-finals to eventual champion Matt Kuchar and went on to win the Consolation Match against Ian Poulter to finish third, his best of 10 World Golf Championships starts.
With a T9, South Africa's Coetzee posts his best finish in three starts at the Accenture Match Play Championship.
Match No. 55 – Ernie Els (No. 31) defeated Jason Dufner (No. 15), 1 up
Ernie Els made bogey on Nos. 3-4 to go two down to Jason Dufner through four holes, but he was able to get back in the match when Dufner made three bogeys of his own on holes 4-6. With the match all square through nine holes, Els capitalized on two Dufner mistakes early on the back nine to take a 2-up lead through 12. But Dufner rallied to pull even with the World Golf Hall of Famer heading into the 18th hole. Els capped the 1-up win by sticking his approach to 2 feet, 3 inches, which was conceded for birdie.
Dufner continued his streak of never having a match end before the 17th hole (five career matches).
Els' record improves to 15-14. He moves on to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2009 (T5) and for only the third time in his career (14 starts).
With a victory, Els would become the second-oldest winner of a World Golf Championships event at 44 years, 4 months and 6 days (as of Sunday, Feb. 23). Vijay Singh currently holds the record for his victory at the 2008 Bridgestone Invitational at the age of 45 years, 5 months, 12 days.
He will play the youngest player in the field, Jordan Spieth, in the quarterfinals. Spieth is attempting to become the youngest player to win a World Golf Championships event.
Match No. 56 – Jordan Spieth (No. 10) defeated Matt Kuchar (No. 7), 2 and 1
Jordan Spieth went 1 down to Matt Kuchar on the second hole, as he posted a birdie to Kuchar's eagle. That marked the first time since the 11th hole of round one that Spieth had trailed in a match. He came back with birdies on Nos. 2-3 to take the lead and never trailed the rest of the day. Spieth made a total of nine birdies over 17 holes to defeat Kuchar (who made one eagle, four birdies, three bogeys).
Spieth becomes only the second first-time participant to defeat the defending champion at the Accenture Match Play Championship, and the first in 12 years (first-timers listed first):
A win this week would make Spieth the youngest winner of a World Golf Championships event. Spieth will be 20 years, 6 months and 27 days old on Sunday. He'll have to get past Ernie Els, the oldest player in the field, in the quarterfinals. Els is aiming to become the second-oldest winner of a WGC.
Youngest winners of World Golf Championships Events:
Kuchar – and Hunter Mahan – are tied for seventh-most matches won in tournament history, and Kuchar has the best winning percentage of those with 17 or more wins (80.9 percent).
Most matches won:
33, Tiger Woods (33-10, 76.74 percent)
24, David Toms (24-11, 68.57 percent)
22, Ian Poulter (22-12, 64.71 percent)
22, Stewart Cink (22-12, 64.7 percent)
20, Geoff Ogilvy (20-5, 80 percent)
19, Davis Love III (19-10, 65.5 percent)
17, Luke Donald (17-9, 65.38 percent)
17, Matt Kuchar (17-4, 80.9 percent)
17, Hunter Mahan (17-6, 73.9 percent)
Pic Courtesy: PGA Tour