I finally caught up with the end of the Accenture WGC Match Play Championship on my DVR, and have a couple of thoughts, in no particular order:
- First, I am not at all surprised to see Tiger bounced in the first round. As I said in a post earlier this week on the WGC Match Play Odds, I wouldn’t put any money on Tiger. On the other hand, I WOULD have put money on Ian Poulter, but he was bounced after 19 holes by Stewart Cink. Shows what I know.
- But back to Tiger. Stick a fork in him. He’s done as a force in golf. One calculation has him falling to #8 after this weekend.
- Interesting Tweet from Hank Haney:
Haney: For all the talk of Tiger’s poor driving during the last 6 years I have never seen him drive it out of play with a match or tournament on the line
But enough of Tiger. The story of the day had to be the epic duels
- Matt Kuchar and Anders Hansen went to 22 holes, but Kuchar finally pulled it out. There was a point, however, when I was not sure that either of them wanted to win.
- 20 Holes: Yang over Quiros; Schwartzel and Ishikawa
- 19 Holes: Els and Overton; Poulter and Cink; Casey and Green; Woods and Bjorn; Johnson and Wilson.
One of the dangers of Match Play for television producers (and for viewers) is that the top stars will be bounced out before the weekend. So how did the producers fare?
- Falling Stars Watch: Woods, Villegas, Poulter
- Surviving Star Watch: Mickelson, Kaymer, Els, McIlroy and Fowler. I suppose some would put Westwood in that group, but I think of him as an aberration in that number one slot.
Mark Wilson is looking like a real winner. Two victories on the Tour this year and now he eliminates percolating star Dustin Johnson
Interesting watching a 17 year old ousting veteran and World #8 Steve Stricker. Have these youngsters no respect for their elders?
There are some great matches scheduled tomorrow:
- Stewart Cink vs YE Yang: Two strong veterans who can play under pressure.
- Rickie Fowler vs Phil Mickelson: Hall of Fame lock versus potential Hall of Famer
- Ernie Els vs JB Holmes: Holmes was a last minute addition; I thought Els did a good job of holding it together after Overton went 3 up after 3.
- Martin Kaymer vs Justin Rose: We’ll see if Kaymer really is a number one.
The PGA Tour should change the format for the Tour Championship to Match Play. They could include the Top 32 (rather than 30) and really make it something to talk about.