Shane Lowry was able to get through the first two rounds at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championships, but fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell showed up with the glass slipper and ended the youngster from Northern Ireland’s hopes of going to the ball. After taking down the worlds number one player, Rory McIlroy on Thursday, in a close match, he got his second win at The Dove Mountain Golf Course, eliminating Sweden’s Carl Pettersson 6 & 5 in the second round. But Saturday brought a seasoned Match Play opponent in another fellow countryman that would end his dreams.
Graeme McDowell got up early and eliminated his young opponent 3 & 2, and never really let him into the match. Lowry seemed to show up flat, and never seemed to really got going. The veteran will advance to the fourth round where he will face Jason Day.
Jason Day eliminated the last remaining two seed, Masters Champ Bubba Watson 4 & 3. Jason has found his golf game, something that has been missing for the last couple of years, and seems to have it back on track. He is serving notice that he is back. He continues to have a good spring, with a sixth place finish at Pebble Beach, and a T9 at Torrey Pines. His only sub-par finish was a The Waste Management Phoenix Open where he finished T 57.
Webb Simpson is the only golfer no one is talking about this week. They won’t even follow the 2012 US Open champion during the telecast. He is like Rodney Dangerfield, and is getting no respect. All he has done in this event is take on half of the European Tour in his march into the fourth round. He took out Gonzalo FDEZ Costano with a 2 Up win and advances to finally play an American. He will face defending champion, Hunter Mahan in round four, which will get underway Saturday afternoon, and most likely finish early on Sunday.
Mahan dispatched the 2010 PGA Champion, Martin Kaymer 5 & 4 in a match that was Hunter’s match from the first tee shot.
Matt Kuchar came alive in the third round, and to my disbelief, was able to almost embarrass the “Muscles from Brussels”. After Colsaerts completely dominated Justin Rose in the second round, I didn’t think there was any way The Kuch could beat Nicolas Colsaerts, but he did. Colsaerts was flat when he began his day, and it didn’t get any better. Matt Kucher beat Colsaerts 4 & 2 to meet Robert Garrigus in the fourth round.
Did anyone realize how good Robert Garrigus was in match play? Someone should have invited him to Medinah back in September. Garrigus took on a very scrappy Fredrik Jacobson and finally beat him 3 & 1 in match that was closer than it looked on paper. Garrigus has taken on half of Sweden, and one of the hottest players from the Sunshine tour, and will meet Matt Kucher in the fourth round.
If Steve Stricker had played this well in September, the Ryder Cup would be on an American mantel somewhere. I thought he would give Scott Piercy a good match, but after the way Piercy played in the first two rounds, I thought Steve would be going back to his vacation. Stricker will face “Mr. Match Play” in the fourth round, Ian Poulter. Stricker beat Scott Piercy 1 up. and Poulter took care of Tim Clark 5 & 3. There were a bunch of bracket sheets that were eliminated when Clark was beaten.
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