And there were four left standing at The WGC-Accenture Match Play Championships when the sun set on the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Resort and Golf Course Saturday evening. The survivors will tee it up Sunday morning for the semi-final matches with the two best having to play 36 holes to finish up. I for one, didn’t think they would get the whole thing in after the snowfall we witnessed on Thursday. The weather has held, and they should be able to finish up on time.
Ian Poulter is reminding everyone involved why he is probably the best Match Play golfer on the planet. While most of the top players in the world are in Florida getting some practice in for next weeks Honda Classic, Poulter is the top seed still in the mix. Poulter traded punches in the afternoon with another good opponent in Steve Stricker, and though Stricker made him work, Poulter prevailed 3 & 2.
Steve Stricker looked to be back in form after his lengthy layoff, and appears to have his game back on track. He was able to beat Scott Piercy earlier in the day but just nipped him 1 up. Poulter was just too much for Stricker, and sent him back into semi-retirement. Poulter will be up against the defending champion at this event Hunter Mahan.
Mahan won a match against Webb Simpson where he never trailed. Both players came to the 18th hole with Mahan up one, and Simpson couldn’t find any magic. Both faced 35 foot putts, but Mahan’s 1 Up lead, would advance him on to Sunday’s action, and the US Open champ can move on to Florida.
Webb Simpson played well all week, considering he used multiple caddies, his kids were all sick, and he was under the weather. Simpson proved beyond a doubt that he can play in this format, and should be a contender here in the future.
Jason Day and Graeme McDowell made the turn All Square, and traded punches throughout the back nine. When they got to 18, Day was 1 Up on the very tough McDowell, and was able to prevail 1 Up. McDowell’s approach to the par 4 18th hole was just a little strong, and as it went into the rough just enough to kill his backspin, leaving him an 18 foot putt from the fringe instead of a make-able four foot putt for a birdie.
Jason Day moves on to face Matt Kuchar in the semi-finals on Sunday morning. Kuchar had the easiest afternoon, dispatching Robert Garrigus 3 & 2. Jason Day has committed to his golf game again, is playing very well, and should give Kuchar all he wants. Sunday has set up to have some good matches with activities beginning on The Golf Channel at 9 AM.
Could someone explain to me again, why Hunter Mahan was not on the Ryder Cup team in September? I know Nick Watney wasn’t playing great at the time, and Brandt Snedeker got hot after the FedEx Cup playoffs started, and after the Captain’s picks were made, But you absolutely needed a Hunter Mahan on the team with his match play talent. Oh well !! I need to quit obsessing over this one.
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