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BlogWho will win Friday’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

Let’s pick the winners in Friday’s 8 matches

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

Day two of the Accenture Match Play saw a fair amount of upsets as the three #1 seeded players Henrik Stenson, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose lost meaning that all of the #1 seeded players are gone.  It’s interesting that three of the four #2 seeded players, Jason Day, Sergio Garcia and defending champion Matt Kuchar will go into the third round.

In looking at the plights of the #1 seeded player, the biggest upset and one that wasn’t predicted was Harris English beating Rory McIlroy.  English pretty much dominated the match with a birdie at the 2nd hole as he led by 2 up after the 13th hole.  But McIlroy roared back with birdies at 14, 15 and 16 and for the first time led the match.  English then showed some fortitude with a 19 foot putt for birdie at 17 to level the match.  After both made par at 18, McIlroy hit it into the left rough on the first hole and then hit his next one into the desert and as the old saying goes the rest was history as English made a routine par for the win.  McIlroy played ok on the par 3s and 4s, but only made one birdie on the par 5s and also had to concede one par 5 and made bogey at the other.  As for English he only had two 5s on a card that had a whole bunch of 3s and 4s on it.  With his surprise win over Lee Westwood on Wednesday, English may have the game to win this.

The next #1 to exit was Henrik Stenson who showed that he is happy to see the last of Dove Mountain as since winning this event in 2007 and moving to Dove Mountain has a 1-5 record on the course..  Stenson conceded the 1st and 4th hole and with Oosthuizen making eagle at 2 and par at 3 had a 3 up lead after 4 holes.  Stenson was able to match pars with Oosthuizen and got a hole back but when he made bogey at 12 it was all but over as Oosthuizen regained his 3 up lead.  Oosthuizen birdied the 15th hole to wrap up his 4 & 3 victory.

The last #1 seed to fall was Justin Rose who played great but saw Ernie Els pour in putt after putt.  He capped things off at 18 when he got up and down from an impossible spot, making a 6-foot putt to continue the match.  On the first extra hole both players made ten foot birdie putts.  At the second playoff hole Els got a great break from a bunker when he hit a terrible shot that count the lip just perfectly and trickle to 3 feet away.  Rose also had a bunker shot but left his in the bunker to lose.  I just have to wonder after winning the Volvo Match Play championship seven times if possibly he could also win this one.

For the second day in a row Graeme McDowell made the best comeback of the day.  In his Wednesday match against Gary Woodland he was three down with three to play, the ran off four straight birdies to win in overtime.  On Thursday against Hideki Matsuyama it wasn’t as dramatic but he was 2 down after 14.  McDowell did his part in making birdie, par, birdie and then a par to nip Matsuyama who bogeyed the 18th hole.

In some other marquee matches, Sergio Garcia beat Bill Haas 3 & 1 while Hunter Mahan gave Richard Sterne his third mano-a-mano defeat in this championship.  Sterne led most of the day until Mahan birdied 15 to level the match.  After both made pars at 16 but Sterne couldn’t get it up and down from a greenside bunker at 17 to lose that hold and then Mahan topped it off with a birdie at 18 to win 2 up.

One other marquee name going home is Jimmy Walker who lost 1 down to Rickie Fowler.  Walker had a chance to send the match to overtime only to miss from 14 feet at 18 followed by Fowler holing a par putt from 6 feet for the win.

 

So that is a recap of the big matches, how were my picks?  I didn’t do as well on Thursday as Wednesday, of the 16 matches I picked eight winners but had 8 losers.  I saw the upsets of Oosthuizen over Stenson, Els over Rose and Simpson over Snedeker.  But I was still surprised by McIlroy losing, can’t explain how Jim Furyk is still in this tournament, I knew that Jimmy Walker wouldn’t go far but couldn’t see him losing to Rickie Fowler and how Hideki Matsuyama lost to Graeme McDowell is still hard for me to believe.

 

So let’s look at Friday’s matches and I am really looking for a perfect 8 for 8 day.  If you believe that, I have some great swamp land in the Everglades that I could sell you very cheaply.

This week’s posts:

  • Be sure to join us tomorrow and Saturday for another look at the matches.

 

 

Which 10 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
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
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
Sergio Garcia
(108.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T19
(20.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Victor Dubuisson
(93.67 pts)
T40
(10)
T13
(37)
DNP DNP DNP T59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP
Webb Simpson
(88 pts)
T70
(0)
DNP DNP 10
(40)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(18)
DNP DNP DNP T3
(30)
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

How Player Rankings are Computed

Of the 16 players on Friday, these six 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
Ernie Els
(13.67 pts)
T35
(15)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T37
(8.67)
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)
Jim Furyk
(42 pts)
T23
(27)
T35
(15)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Matt Kuchar
(43.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP T6
(20)
Graeme McDowell
(55 pts)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

A look at Friday’s 8 matches, who will win?

Bobby Jones bracket – Tee Times – All Times Local

Time  Match

11:43      53  (#35) Louis Oosthuizen vs (#20) Webb Simpson

Lets get off to a good start and say that Webb Simpson should handle Oosthuizen who has had to work very hard in his two matches.  For Simpson he has been pretty dominating and I expect more of the same on Friday

My pick – Simpson

 

Time  Match

11:55 AM    54  (#11) Jason Day vs (#59) George Coetzee

George Coetzee has had two great wins, but I see Jason Day overpowering him.  Day has not only played great in the clutch on Wednesday and Thursday, but he has now won seven of his last eight matches going back to last year when he finished 3rd.  Day is making good shots when he needs it which is a big secret to winning this week

My pick – Day

 

Ben Hogan bracket – Tee Times – All Times Local

Time  Match

10:55 AM    49   (#39) Harris English vs (#23) Jim Furyk

Sorry I can’t be wrong three straight days so I can see Harris English having an easy day over Jim Furyk.  I am surprised that Furyk has gotten to Friday, in the last nine times he has played in this tournament I only made it to Friday once, losing five times on Wednesday and three times on Thursday.  Many will feel that after beating Rory McIlroy that English may be flat, I don’t see it, he is hungry and I can see him winning again.

My pick – English

 

Time  Match

11:07 AM    50   (#T8)  Sergio Garcia vs (#56) Rickie Fowler

My first thought is that Fowler is on a high and Garcia always figures out a way of losing when you least expect it.  Still I think that Garcia is going to have a great year and I think he will be able to handle Fowler, who for two rounds anyway has found his game.

My pick – Garcia

 

Gary Player bracket – Tee Times – All Times Local

Time  Match

12:07 PM    55   (#34) Ernie Els vs (#18) Jason Dufner

This is going to be a great match.  Can’t underestimate Dufner who is really a tough competitor and when he is putting well is impossible to beat.  Els has played really great in other match play tournaments, just don’t think he has been very fond of these desert courses and La Costa.  I am going to continue on the Els bandwagon and say he will win another one besting Dufner

My pick – Els

 

Time  Match

12:19 PM    56   (#10) Matt Kuchar vs (#13) Jordan Spieth

Kuchar is really good in this Match Play championship, winning 17 of 20 matches.  Dove Mountain has been great for him, in four events he has earnings just a notch below $2.5 million.  But when he tees it up on Friday, Spieth will not ponder that, he knows that in his first Accenture he is unbeaten and wants to continue that way.  I can see the youngster getting the best of the King of Dove Mountain.

My pick – Spieth

 

Sam Snead bracket – Tee Times – All Times Local

Time  Match

11:19 AM    51   (#33) Hunter Mahan vs (#17) Graeme McDowell

If McDowell gets down to Mahan, I don’t see him coming back this time.  Mahan, just like Kuchar, has a great record at Dove Mountain with earnings of $2.55 million on this course so you can maybe say he is the King of Dove Mountain.  One thing on Mahan’s mind is to get into the finals for a third straight year and I can’t see McDowell keeping him out of the finals

My pick – Mahan

 

Time  Match

11:31 AM    52   (#30) Victor Dubuisson vs (#14) Bubba Watson

Now on paper Watson is the big favorite over Dubuisson.  I have to think that Watson is mentally getting fried and if he isn’t careful could and should go down to Victor.

My pick – Dubuisson because I love longshots

 

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:

  • Be sure to join us tomorrow and Saturday for another look at the matches.

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