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BlogWho will win Thursday’s matches?

WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship

February 19 – 23, 2014

The Golf Club at Dove Mountain

Marana, Ariz.

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,791

Purse: $9 million

with $1.5 Million to the winner

Defending Champion:
Matt Kuchar

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

Lets pick the winners in Thursday’s 16 matches

What a great start to the Accenture Match Play Championship.  A great day in Tucson with temperatures getting to 82 degrees, perfect day for golf.  Along with the great weather not many real upsets to report as 23 of the 32 top-seeded player won.  About the biggest upsets for day was a number one seed along with a couple of former champions of this event going down.

The number one seed that lost was Zach Johnson in probably the biggest upset of the day.  He lost 5 & 4 to Richard Sterne who made six birdies and not bogeys for 14 holes, while Johnson, who hasn’t played competitively since the Humana could only muster two birdies but three bogeys.  Johnson may wonder about this championship, in 10 starts this is the seventh time he leaves on Monday. The second upset was Luke Donald who for only the second time in 10 starts will go home on Wednesday as he got wiped out by Matteo Manassero 5 & 4.  While the Italian started out with birdies at the first two holes, then tacked on four others with no bogeys, Donald’s output was three birdies but also a bogey and a double bogey.

The other upset was past champion Ian Poulter getting beat by Rickie Fowler 2 & 1 who in his first seven holes won three holes.  It was a hole he just couldn’t dig out of as he played 17 holes in 2 under but Fowler was better at 4 under.

The last big upset saw Dustin Johnson, who has finished runner-up two weeks in a row losing to Peter Hanson 4 & 3.  It was a simple case of Hanson winning the first hole and never looking back.  Johnson got the match back to all-square with a birdie at the second hole, which just happen to be the only birdie he would make for the day.  Johnson will probably shake his head on the plane back tonight as for the fifth time in six starts he goes home on Wednesday.

The biggest victory was Billy Horschel’s 6 & 5 victory over Jamie Donaldson.  Horschel made six birdies and no bogeys in his 13 hole victory and gets to play Jason Day on Thursday.

The biggest comeback came out of Graeme McDowell, who found himself 4 down to Gary Woodland after seven holes.  It’s interesting that the two faced off, they live down the street from each other in Florida and flew together to Tucson on a private jet.  For Woodland it was the tail of two nines, the front he made five birdies on the first 8 holes before making bogey on nine.  He played the back in 2 under but lost four straight holes when McDowell birdied 16, 17 and 18, then tacked on another on the first hole for his 19 hole victory.

So that is a recap of the big matches, how were my picks?  Did pretty good winning 21 times and losing 11.  A bit surprise that Graham DeLaet wasn’t able to handle Patrick Reed losing 1 down.  Also shocked at how bad Lee Westwood lost 5 & 3 to Harris English, didn’t see Rickie Fowler beating Ian Poulter, Peter Hanson beating Dustin Johnson and Zach Johnson going down to Richard Sterne.

This week’s posts:

  • We will also have our “Who should win” column after play on Thursday, Friday and Saturday so join us everyday this week.

 

 

Which 25 players in the field are playing the best:

Player Northern Trust AT&T Pebble Joburg Open Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Farmers Insurance Qatar Masters Humana Challenge Abu Dhabi Sony Open Volvo Champions Hyundai T of C
Jimmy Walker
(253 pts)
T20
(30)
Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T21
(9.67)
Bubba Watson
(250 pts)
Win
(132)
DNP DNP T2
(100)
DNP T23
(18)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
George Coetzee
(232 pts)
DNP DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Patrick Reed
(167.33 pts)
DNP T13
(37)
DNP T19
(31)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP DNP DNP T16
(11.33)
Jordan Spieth
(165.33 pts)
T12
(38)
T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(20.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 2
(33.33)
Harris English
(162.67 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP 9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP T33
(11.33)
DNP 4
(53.33)
DNP T11
(13)
Hunter Mahan
(142 pts)
T52
(0)
6
(60)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP T47
(2)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Hideki Matsuyama
(129.67 pts)
T23
(27)
DNP DNP T4
(80)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Rory McIlroy
(111.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Sergio Garcia
(108.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T19
(20.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Bill Haas
(96.33 pts)
T23
(27)
DNP DNP T34
(16)
DNP T43
(4.67)
DNP T6
(40)
DNP DNP DNP T24
(8.67)
Victor Dubuisson
(93.67 pts)
T40
(10)
T13
(37)
DNP DNP DNP T59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP
Charl Schwartzel
(93.33 pts)
5
(70)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T15
(23.33)
DNP
Webb Simpson
(88 pts)
T70
(0)
DNP DNP 10
(40)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(18)
DNP DNP DNP T3
(30)
Thomas Bjorn
(83.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T13
(37)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP
Louis Oosthuizen
(78 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP
Jason Day
(66.67 pts)
DNP T64
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Ryan Moore
(63.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 10
(13.33)
Graeme McDowell
(55 pts)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Billy Horschel
(44.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T23
(18)
DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP DNP DNP T6
(20)
Matt Kuchar
(43.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP T6
(20)
Jim Furyk
(42 pts)
T23
(27)
T35
(15)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jason Dufner
(37.33 pts)
T65
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T72
(0)
DNP DNP T29
(14)
DNP 5
(23.33)
Peter Hanson
(35.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T22
(18.67)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Matteo Manassero
(29.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T31
(12.67)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Of the 32 players on Thursday, these seven are playing the worst:

Player Northern Trust AT&T Pebble Joburg Open Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Farmers Insurance Qatar Masters Humana Challenge Abu Dhabi Sony Open Volvo Champions Hyundai T of C
Rickie Fowler
(-15.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T33
(11.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brandt Snedeker
(-3.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T11
(13)
Richard Sterne
(-2 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP 28
(14.67)
DNP
Justin Rose
(5 pts)
T45
(5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jonas Blixt
(12.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T34
(16)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T21
(9.67)
Ernie Els
(13.67 pts)
T35
(15)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T37
(8.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Henrik Stenson
(29 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T29
(21)
DNP T28
(14.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

A look at Thursday’s 16 matches, who will win?

So let’s look at our matches for Thursday, again we will go from bracket to bracket starting with the Bobby Jones bracket:

Bobby Jones bracket – Tee Times – All Times Local

 

Time  Match

11:44      45  (#3) Henrik Stenson vs (#35) Louis Oosthuizen

Should be a good match, both European tour players have not played well in the last month as both finished 2013 with injuries.  Oosthuizen did start his year with a victory at the Volvo Champions and he seemed to play better on Wednesday as Stenson had to stage a comeback for his victory, the first match he has won since the tournament switch over to Dove Mountain.  Both seem to have problems at Dove Mountain so this match is probably a toss-up

My pick – Oosthuizen

 

Time  Match

11:56 AM    46  (#19) Brandt Snedeker vs (#20) Webb Simpson

Snedeker had a tough match only getting the lead at the 20th hole, the perfect time to lead.  As for Simpson he had an easy time with Thongchai Jaidee.  This should be another good match with nobody having an advantage.  I think that Simpson could be the better match player but in looking at their Ryder Cup and President Cup records both haven’t won a singles match.

My pick – Simpson

 

Time  Match

10:08 AM    37  (#11) Jason Day vs (#43) Billy Horschel

Horschel had a very easy day winning 6 & 5 against Jamie Donaldson, while Day had to grind it out all day in his 2 up win over Thorbjorn Olesen.  I always am weary of those that have big wins, they tend to be a bit flat the next day.  Day has a lot of experience in this championship winning 8 matches in four years, all of that coming at Dove Mountain so the advantage goes to Day

My pick – Day

 

Time  Match

10:20 AM    38   (#59) George Coetzee vs (#44) Patrick Reed

Coetzee and Reed had totally different matches, first Stricker was sluggish against Coetzee who won with only two birdies, over his last three holes.  Reed played a great back nine making three birdies and a big five-footer on the 18th hole to seal his 1 up win.  Reed had a great college record in match play going undefeated in match play in two NCAA Championships which should give Reed the advantage.  I see this match going to the bitter end with Reed winning and becoming the longshot favorite

My pick – Coetzee

 

Ben Hogan bracket – Tee Times – All Times Local

Time  Match

10:56 AM    41   (#7) Rory McIlroy vs (#39) Harris English

McIlroy will be the big favorite, but he better not rest on what he reads with his morning Wheaties because Harris English could give him a good match.  Both McIlroy and English had easy first round victories, McIlroy was 3 under while English was six under with no bogies so English could pull an upset.  Still I think McIlroy is the winner not only of this match but the rest of them this week

My pick – McIlroy

 

Time  Match

11:08 AM    42   (#16) Charl Schwartzel vs (#23) Jim Furyk

Jim Furyk was bogey free in his 2 & 1 victory over Chris Kirk with three birdies while Schwartzel only made one bogey and five birdies.  I just can’t see Furyk going far in this event, his record has been mediocre at best in Match Play.  Can’t see Schwartzel losing this, should have an easy day

My pick – Schwartzel

 

Time  Match

9:20 AM    33   (#T8)  Sergio Garcia vs (#31) Bill Haas

Haas had an easy first day while Garcia had to play his butt off to beat Marc Leishman on the 4th extra hole.  Haas won his first match but I can’t see him beating Garcia.  The only thing that can beat Garcia is Garcia himself but for Thursday I think he can handle Haas

My pick – Garcia

 

Time  Match

9:32 AM    34   (#56) Rickie Fowler vs (#24) Jimmy Walker

This is your David and Goliath match of the week.  That’s because in 2014 Fowler has probably played the worst of anyone in this field, missing his last three cuts.  But for Walker, he’s had a career year with three wins.  I still wonder that Walker will come down a bit from his great pace but don’t see it coming on Thursday as I see him having an easy day against Fowler

My pick – Walker

 

 

Gary Player bracket – Tee Times – All Times Local

Time  Match

12:08 PM    47   (#5) Justin Rose vs (#34) Ernie Els

Both played ugly golf and were lucky to win, I just have to think that the same could happen on Thursday.  Both haven’t played well in this event, Els use to be the king of match play when the Volvo Match Play Championship was at Wentworth, but he hasn’t shown us much since.  I always shows bias toward Els, will do it again in thinking that he will be the best in the match of U.S. Open champions.

My pick – Els

 

Time  Match

12:20 PM    48   (#18) Jason Dufner vs (#50) Matteo Manassero

Dufner started slowly and was able to catch Stallings and beat him in extra holes while Manassero played bogey-free golf in handing Luke Donald a 5 & 4 loss.  Can see Manassero continue his good play and with Dufner playing in-different golf see an easy win for Manassero

My pick – Manassero

 

Time  Match

10:32 AM    39   (#10) Matt Kuchar vs (#29) Ryan Moore

This could be a very good match, Kuchar improving his record to 16-3 in this event.  Still Moore played great on Wednesday playing bogey-free golf and never trailing in a match in which Moore was better than his 1 up victory.  I really smell an upset here.

My pick – Moore

 

Time  Match

10:44 AM    40    (#13) Jordan Spieth vs (#26) Thomas Bjorn

Talk about youth and experience, this will be an interesting match.  On paper Spieth is a better player than Bjorn, who will read this and laugh because he has so much experience it’s not going to be a easy match for Spieth.  If Spieth doesn’t do the deed early and he gets behind, Bjorn won’t let him back in this match

My pick – Spieth

 

Sam Snead bracket – Tee Times – All Times Local

Time  Match

11:20 AM    43   (#65) Richard Sterne vs (#33) Hunter Mahan

Both played great on Wednesday but I still think that Mahan will make it to the weekend and could possibly win this again.  One thing for sure, Sterne will be looking for a bit of redemption.  He faced Mahan last year in the second round 4 & 3 and also was a loser to Mahan in the first round in 2008, 4 & 3.  Sorry Richard, your going down for a third time to Mahan on Thursday, he is playing too good.

My pick – Mahan

 

Time  Match

11:32 AM    44   (#17) Graeme McDowell vs (#22) Hideki Matsuyama

Both had tough matches, honestly McDowell should be watching the Thursday matches from his home.  Matsuyama beat a better player in Martin Kaymer and I can see him doing it again on Thursday

My pick – Matsuyama

 

Time  Match

9:44 AM    35   (#62) Peter Hanson vs (#30) Victor Dubuisson

Now on paper Dubuisson has had a much better last year, but Hanson showed that maybe he is heathy again and could carry on like he did in 2010 and 2011.  This match will be a toss up and I can’t see one player having any advantage.  So take a coin and flip it on this match

My pick – Dubuisson because I love longshots

 

Time  Match

9:56 AM     36   (#14) Bubba Watson vs (#46) Jonas Blixt

On paper another of these matches in which Watson will be the big favorite.  Blixt is a better player than people realize and won’t step down on Watson so Watson better play great from the first tee onward.  Think this will be the upset of the day, Watson has thrown snake eyes for a while and I can see him rolling a seven on Thursday.

My pick – Blixt, yes I typed this right.

 

So there you have it with my picks. Please give us your feedback on who you think will be upset victors.  Always happens and you can expect some upsets to happen on Thursday, that’s what makes it so hard to pick the field.

This week’s posts:

  • We will also have our “Who should win” column after play on Thursday, Friday and Saturday so join us everyday this week.

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