WGC Accenture Match Play First Round Pairings

PhotobucketHere are the first round matchups for the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship 2012:

Bobby Jones Bracket

Luke Donald (1) vs Ernie Els (16)

Jason Dufner (8) vs Peter Hanson (9)

KJ Choi (4) vs Kyle Stanley (13)

Brandt Snedeker (5) vs Retief Goosen (12)

Adam Scott (2) vs Robert Rock (15)

Bo Van Pelt (7) vs Mark Wilson (10)

Dustin Johnson (3) vs Jim Furyk (14)

Thomas Bjorn (6) vs F. Molinari (11)

Luke Donald looks like he has a hard draw in this, but as much as I like him, Els is not the player he was before the knee injury. Adam Scott has a much harder task, I think, in taking on a hot Robert Rock. The Johnson-Furyk matchup should be interesting. Johnson is a terrific player, but Furky’s experience in match play will count for a lot. I think Snedeker beats Goosen. But the others are a toss up for me.

Ben Hogan Bracket

Martin Kaymer (1) vs Greg Chalmers (16)

David Toms (8) vs Rickie Fowler (9)

Matt Kuchar (4) vs Jonathan Byrd (13)

Bubba Watson (5) vs Ben Crane (12)

Steve Stricker (2) vs Kevin Na (15)

Louis Oosthuizen (7) vs Aaron Baddeley (10)

Graeme McDowell (3) vs YE Yang (14)

Hunter Mahan (6) vs Zach Johnson (11)

They should rename this the Golf Boys bracket. I see Kaymer moving on, as should Stricker. The Toms – Fowler matchup is interesting for the same reason as the Johnson-Furyk match above: young talent vs experience. Experience counts for a lot in match play, especially with American players who don’t play as much of this as they should. Yang should dispatch McDowell, who’s been floundering since his Major victory.  The Oosthuizen-Baddeley match should be hotly contested, as with the Mahan-Johnson.

Gary Player Bracket

Rory McIlroy (1) vs George Coetzee (16)

Kyung-tae Kim (8) vs Anders Hansen (9)

Sergio Garcia (4) vs M.A. Jimenez (13)

Keegan Bradley (5) vs Geoff Ogilvy (12)

Jason Day (2) vs RC Bello (15)

Simon Dyson (7) vs John Senden (10)

Charl Schwartzel (3) vs Gary Woodland (14)

Ian Poulter (6) vs Sang-moon Bae (11)

Rory has to be the favorite to blow through this bracket from start to finish. Poulter is a good match player and should dispatch Bae. Ogilvy has the best winning percentage in match play. For all Bradley’s talent, I wonder how much of this style he’s played. Its Ogilvy for me here. The best match of this bracket might be the Spanish Civil War: Garcia v Jimenez. Both have proven match play games.

Sam Snead Bracket

Lee Westwood (1) vs Nicholas Colsaerts (16)

Robert Karlsson (8) vs Frederik Jacobson (9)

Nick Watney (4) vs Darren Clarke (13)

Tiger Woods (5) vs G. Fdez-Castano (12)

Webb Simpson (2) vs M. Manassero (15)

Alvaro Quiros (7) vs Martin Laird (10)

Bill Haas (3) vs Ryo Ishikawa (14)

Justin Rose (6)  vs Paul Lawrie (11)

At first glance, it seems as though Tiger has an easy match. but the Spaniard turns out to be a six time winner. Further, putting is critical in match play, and Tiger’s putting is suffering (Exhibit 1: the missed two footer at Pebble). Darren Clarke is a cagy match player, but he’s not been playing well. In two events this year, Clarke is a net +8. Watney, on the other hand, has shown evidence of a killer instinct. He should win. Westwood dispatch Colsaerts, as Haas should dump Ishikawa. Best match here might be Simpson vs Manassero.

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