Some thoughts on the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play, in no particular order:
Number one in the world Luke Donald was crushed by Ernie Els 5 and 4. I saw Donald miss a couple of relatively easy putts and wondered if he isn’t just a little worn out from last year’s epic campaign. Donald could be due for an off year.
Donald was only the third #1 seed knocked off in the first round.
Ernie is just the third 64 seed to win. Still, I don’t think it was “surprising” that he beat Donald. More surprising is that The Big Easy was the #64 seed. Ernie’s had a rough couple of years, but he’s still a hall of fame player. I hope that this is a sign that his ship is being righted.
The biggest margin of victory went to Robert Karlsson who beat Frederick Jacobson 6 and 5. I don’t recall seeing any of that match. Ernie’s win was a tie for the second biggest margin of victory on the dayalong with Nick Watney over Darren Clarke.
When did Ernie go to the belly putter? Goosen’s got one, too.
Surprised to see that Geoff Ogilvy was bounced out in the first round. It shows, I think just how much of a rising star the Tour has in Keegan Bradley.
Tiger did not look particularly good today. I was amazed at how many shots he parked in the desert. Still, a win is a win. Tomorrow, he faces Nick Watney. That’ll be a real test.
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano said he thought Tiger was beatable and he was almost right. For perspective, the last guy to say Tiger was beatable in World Match play got a 9 adn 8 drubbing (Stephen Ames in 2006).
Tomorrow’s David Toms – Martin Kaymer match should be good. Toms looked really good to me today in his match against Fowler.
We didn’t see very mch of Rory McIlroy today, did we? It was almost as if he was playing at an alternate site that didn’t have television cameras. That’s the problem with television coverage when Tiger is in the field. McIlroy won, if anyone is interested.
Rickie Fowler. Blue shoes, blue pants, blue shirt, blue hat. Not a fan of the monotone look.
There were fifteen upsets in the first round. That’s not the record, though. In 1999, 17 lower seeds got the second round.
I was really surprised to see Bill Haas lose to Ryo Ishikawa.He was one up on the seventeenth, but missed a birdie putt following an 18 footer from Ryo. Exhaustion from last weekend? Perhaps. It was a short layover.
Looking at the lines, Westwood never trailed.
Some number crunchers are saying that if either Rory McIlroy or Lee Westwood win this event, they would unseat Luke Donald as World #1.
Watching the excitement of the Match Play Championship, I wonder why the PGA Championship ever strayed from that format. The answer, of course, is televison, but I think that could be revisited today. Maybe the PGA could start with the Senior event and see how that works. The PGA was a match play event from 1916 to 1957.