As if we didn’t get enough surprises in the first round of play at The Accenture Match Play Championships, day two provided even more. The Dove Mountain Golf Course would provide more surprises on Friday, and send more top seeds to Florida to wait for the The Honda Classic next week. After a brief battle with winter, some will be going home, and back to summertime.
I’m going to have a steady diet of crow for a while. I picked South African Richard Stenne over the defending champion, Hunter Mahan. I knew going in, that even though Stenne came in on a real hot streak, that his lack of experience in Match Play might be a problem here. That pick was a long shot, but what the heck, I took it anyway. I knew Mahan was limping into Arizona, and forgot how good he was in this format.
Hunter Mahan got behind early, but turned up the heat, and took out the 14th seeded Sterne 4 & 3. Richard Sterne had gotten up early on Thursday against Jason Dufner, but could never get the magic back after the snow delay.
What can you say about Scott Piercy? He had it on semi cruise control when he eliminated Paul Lawrie 4 & 3 in the first round, but when he teed off on Friday, was able to fine another gear. He must have still been upset about the Ryder Cup, and took it out on Luke Donald. The number three player in the world ran into a real buzz saw, and was taken to the woodshed for a good old fashion butt whooping. I couldn’t fine any other way to describe it to you. Piercy, a nine seed beat the Sam Snead Division #1 seed 7 & 6.
The number one seed in the Bobby Jones Division also fell to a nine seed. It wasn’t as brutal as The Sam Snead division, but Robert Garrigus dispatched the 2010 British Open Champion, Louis Oosthuizen , who was elevated to a one seed when Brandt Snedeker cancelled because of sore ribs, 3 & 2. All number one seeds are gone at this point in the competition.
I hope you are not surprised that Justin Rose was eliminated by the youngster from Belgium. Nicolas Colsaerts was a Captains pick at the 2012 Ryder Cup, and there was a reason Jose Maria Olazabal added this kid to the Team Europe roster. He had Justin Rose, the number two seed in the Ben Hogan Division, talking to himself, and throwing clubs. Colsaerts was averaging 328 yards off of the tee in the thin air of the Arizona mountains, and hit 13 of 14 greens in regulation. He beat the frustrated Rose, 4 & 2 and will get Matt Kuchar in the next round.
The only two seed left in the tournament is 2012 Masters Champion, Bubba Watson. Bubba wasn’t spot on for the second round, and took 22 holes to eliminate a hard fighting Jim Furyk. Furyk had the same problem that plagued him at Medinah. He couldn’t make a putt that counted. Bubba Watson draws a much improved Jason Day in round three. Jason has struggled in the past couple of years, but seems to have found his golf swing. Day was finally able to put the rookie, Richard Henley away, but it took him 19 holes to do so.
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