Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and Ian Poulter Eliminated In First Round of WGC Accenture Match Play Championship
It was a tough first round for some of the world's best golfers on Wednesday as the field at theWorld Golf Championships- Accenture Match Play went from 64 to 32. Among those eliminated were #1 seed in the Sam Snead bracket, Tiger Woods, and the 2010 winner of this event, Ian Poulter.
It wasn't a bad day to be an underdog as the lower ranked players took nearly half of the 32 matches played. Three of the top 10 players in the world exited the tournament early as Americans Tiger Woods (#3), Steve Stricker (#7) and Jim Furyk (#10) all came up short.
The defending champion at the WGC- Accenture Match Play Championship, Ian Poulter, will be relieved of his crown as he dropped his match in 19-holes. Dustin Johnson was ousted by Mark Wilson who has two PGA TOUR wins in 2011 and the red hot Francesco Molinari lost to Ryan Moore who will now face KJ Choi in round two. Choi defeated the favorite in his match, Retief Goosen.
32 Down, 31 to Go
When all is said and done only one player of the 32 remaining will be left standing. Here's a look at some of the match-ups we will be watching on Thursday.
Bobby Jones Bracket "Match to Watch"
Lee Westwood v. Nick Watney: Lee Westwood is the #1 ranked golfer in the world and he looked the part Wednesday afternoon defeating Henrik Stenson 3&2. The Englishman has taken criticism for being ranked number one in the world. He has no major and his 2011 best finish is 15th at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
His round two opponent is 29 year old Nick Watney from the United States. Watney is off to one of the best starts in his career in 2011. He has finished in the top 10 in all three events he has entered. He made quick work of Anthony Kim on Wednesday, defeating him 5&4.
Outcome: This will be a real test for Westwood but he's never backed down from a challenge. In what will be the highlight match of the day, I expect Watney to edge out a victory over the top player in the world.
Ben Hogan Bracket "Match to Watch"
Phil Mickelson v. Rickie Fowler: It's age versus youth as these two top players square off. Phil Mickelson made easy work Brendan Jones yesterday winning 6&5 and has looked goof throughout 2011. He's been here before and knows what it takes to win in match play.Continued on the next page