Accenture Match Play Championship Todays Highlights

Ernie Els (No. 64) def Luke Donald (No. 1), 5 and 4
Ernie Els defeated No. 1 overall seed and defending champion Luke Donald, 5 and 4, to advance to the Second Round of the Accenture Match Play Championship. Donald’s loss is the most lopsided by a defending champion in the First Round of his title defense since Jeff Maggert (1999) lost to Bob Tway, 6 and 5, in 2000. Donald becomes the fourth defending champion to lose in the First Round.

Els, who gained entry to the field when Phil Mickelson withdrew due to a family commitment, becomes just the third No. 64 seed to defeat the No. 1 overall seed in the 14-year history of the Accenture Match Play Championship (Els qualified at No. 65, but was passed in the OWGR by George Coetzee last week, so Coetzee is the No. 63 seed and Els No. 64). Peter O’Malley defeated No. 1 overall seed Tiger Woods in 2002 (2 and 1) and Ross McGowan defeated Steve Stricker in 2010 (19 holes).

The victory evens Els’ career record at the Accenture Match Play Championship at 11-11 and he survives the first round for the sixth time in 11 appearances. His best result was a 4th in 2001. Prior to this year, Els’ highest seed at the Accenture Match Play Championship was No. 15 in 2010. The highest seed to ever win the Accenture Match Play Championship was Kevin Sutherland in 2002 at No. 62. Els will face Sweden’s Peter Hanson in the Second Round.

After not trailing in any of his matches during his run to the Accenture Match Play Championship title in 2011, Donald never led in his match with Els, falling behind on No. 3.

Dustin Johnson (10) def Jim Furyk (58), 20 holes
Dustin Johnson defeated fellow American Jim Furyk in 20 holes to earn his first victory at the Accenture Match Play Championship in his fourth-career appearance. In his previous three appearances, Johnson fell to Steve Stricker (2009), 2 and 1, Camilo Villegas (2010), 4 and 3, and Mark Wilson (2011) in 19 holes.

Early on it looked as though Johnson may have to wait another year for his first victory, as Furyk built a 3-up lead through just four holes. Furyk maintained his 3-up lead through the turn and was 2-up when he holed a 35-yard pitch for birdie at the par-5 No. 13. Johnson then followed Furyk’s lead and holed a 78-foot chip shot of his own for eagle to trim the deficit to 1-down. Johnson took his first lead of the match with a birdie on No. 16, but lost No. 18 to Furyk’s par-4. He won the match with a par-5 on No. 2 despite having to take an unplayable lie from the desert when Furyk three-putted for bogey from 39 feet.

Johnson will advance to face Italy’s Francesco Molinari in the second round after Molinari defeated Thomas Bjorn of Denmark, also in 20 holes. Like Johnson, Molinari advanced to the Second Round for the first time in his third appearance.

Furyk, a University of Arizona product, fell in the First Round for the second-consecutive year and fifth time in 13 career appearances.

Jason Day (No. 7) def Rafael Cabrera-Bello (60), 19 holes
Australian Jason Day capped a furious rally with a birdie 3 on the first extra hole to defeat Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello. Day never led during the match and was 3-down with three holes to play, winning Nos.16 and 17 with pars and No. 18 with a birdie to force extra holes. He converted a 3 foot birdie putt to clinch the victory. Day advanced to the third round in 2011, his first appearance in the Accenture Match Play Championship, defeating K.T. Kim (3 and 2) and Paul Casey (4 and 2) before falling to J.B. Holmes, 1-down. Day will face fellow Australian John Senden in the Second Round.

Ryo Ishikawa (No. 56) def Bill Haas (No. 12), 1 up
The lone Japanese player in the field, 20-year old Ryo Ishikawa birdied three of his final five holes to erase a 3-down (thru 13) deficit and defeat Bill Haas (USA), 1-up. The victory was Ishikawa’s first at the Accenture Match Play Championship since he defeated Ross McGowan (1-up) in the Second Round in 2010. Ishikawa fell to Charl Schwartzel in last year’s First Round in 20 holes. Ishikawa will face Scotland’s Paul Lawrie in the Second Round.

In his second appearance at the Accenture Match Play Championship, Haas remains in search of his first victory. He lost to Bubba Watson in the First Round in 2011, 3 and 2.
Y.E. Yang (No. 55) def Graeme McDowell (No. 13), 2 and 1

For the second-consecutive year, South Korea’s Y.E. Yang ousted Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell at the Accenture Match Play Championship, winning 2 and 1 in the first match of the day. A year ago, Yang and McDowell met in the Third Round with Yang winning, 4 and 3. Yang never trailed in the match, winning the first hole and improved his overall record at the event to 5-3. He advanced to the Quarterfinals in 2011 before losing to Matt Kuchar, 2 and 1. Yang will face American Hunter Mahan in the Second Round.

Tiger Woods (No. 20) def Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (No. 48), 1 up
Tiger Woods (USA) converted an 8-foot, 8 inch par putt on No. 18 to defeat Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (ESP), 1-up. Woods fell 2-down in the match thru two holes and was 1-down thru 14 before winning Nos. 15 and 16. The victory is Woods’ first at the Accenture Match Play Championship since he defeated Brendan Jones in the First Round in 2009, 3 and 2. In his last two matches prior to today he fell to Tim Clark (2009), 4 and 3, and Thomas Bjorn (2011) in 19 holes.

With the victory, Woods improves his record at the Accenture Match Play Championship to 33-8 and advances to the Second Round for the 10th time in 12 appearances. Woods won the Accenture Match Play Championship in 2003, 2004 and 2008. His 33 matches won are the most in tournament history. He will face fellow American Nick Watney in the Second Round.

Robert Rock (No. 59) def Adam Scott (No. 8), 1 up
In his first appearance at the Accenture Match Play Championship, England’s Robert Rock defeated Australia’s Adam Scott in the First Round, 1-up. Rock trailed for the first 14 holes of the match before carding back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 to take a 1-up lead. The two players halved No. 17 with bogeys and No. 18 with pars, giving Rock the 1-up victory. He will face American Mark Wilson in the Second Round.

Martin Kaymer (No. 4) def Greg Chalmers (No. 63), 4 and 2
Germany’s Martin Kaymer pushed his career-record at the Accenture Match Play Championship to 8-4 with a First Round victory over Greg Chalmers (AUS), 4 and 2. Kaymer finished runner-up to Luke Donald at the 2011 Accenture Match Play Championship. He has now advanced to the Second Round in each of the last four years (2009-2012) after losing in the First Round in his debut to Boo Weekley in 2008 (2 and 1). Kaymer will face 2005 Accenture Match Play Championship winner David Toms (USA) in the Second Round.

Miscellaneous Notes
With Luke Donald falling in the First Round of the Accenture Match Play Championship, both Rory McIlroy (NIR) and Lee Westwood (ENG) have the opportunity to take over the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking. Both players would need to go on to victory to supplant Donald.

In a matchup of Swedes, Robert Karlsson (No. 32) defeated Fredrik Jacobson (No. 37), 6 and 5, for the most decisive victory of the day. After losing in the First Round in his first four appearances (2003, 2007, 2008, 2009) at the Accenture Match Play Championship, Karlsson has won his first match each of the last three years. He will face England’s Lee Westwood in the Second Round.

Farmers Insurance Open winner Brandt Snedeker (USA) defeated Retief Goosen (ZAF) in 21 holes, the longest match of the First Round. Snedeker advances to the Second Round for the first time at the Accenture Match Play Championship and will face FedExCup points leader Kyle Stanley (USA) in the Second Round. Snedeker defeated Stanley on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to win in San Diego last month.

At least one of the four No. 1 seeds has lost in the First Round of the Accenture Match Play Championship in each of the last seven years. The last time all four No. 1 seeds won their First Round matches was in 2005 when Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Retief Goosen were all victorious.

Retief Goosen (ZAF) has made more Accenture Match Play Championship starts than any other player, teeing it up for the 13th time this year. The only time he missed the event was in its first year (1999) when he was not within the top 64 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Goosen’s best finish at the Accenture Match Play Championship came in 2005 when he lost in the semifinals to Chris DiMarco, but defeated Ian Poulter in the Consolation Match to finish third. Goosen was defeated in the First Round by Brandt Snedeker in 21 holes.

Six players are just behind Goosen with 12 career Accenture Match Play Championship starts: Tiger Woods; Ernie Els; Jim Furyk; Padraig Harrington; and Stewart Cink (Cink and Harrington are not in the field this week).

Miguel A. Jimenez (ESP), the oldest player in the field, defeated fellow countryman Sergio Garcia in the First Round (2 and 1). The oldest player to win the Accenture Match Play Championship is David Toms in 2005 at the age of 38 years, 1 month, 23 days. Jimenez will be 48 years, 1 month, 21 days old on Sunday.

There are 24 players under the age of 30 competing in the Accenture Match Play Championship, the most in tournament history, bettering the record of 23 previously set in 2010 and 2011. The youngest winner in Accenture Match Play Championship history is Tiger Woods, who was 27 years, 2 months, 2 days old when he won in 2003. The youngest winner of a World Golf Championships event is Tiger Woods, who was 23 years, 7 months and 30 days old when he won the 1999 Bridgestone Invitational.

Here are the players who advanced to the second round and could break one/both of those records:
Name Country Birthday Age on Sunday
Matteo Manassero Italy 4/19/1993 18/10/7
Ryo Ishikawa Japan 9/17/1991 20/5/9
Rory McIlroy Northern Ireland 5/4/1989 22/9/22
Kyle Stanley United States 11/19/1987 24/3/7
Jason Day Australia 11/12/1987 24/3/14
Sang-moon Bae South Korea 6/21/1986 25/8/5
Keegan Bradley United States 6/7/1986 25/8/19
Martin Kaymer Germany 12/28/1984 27/1/29

David Toms (USA) defeated Rickie Fowler (USA) 2 and 1 for his first victory at the Accenture Match Play Championship since the First Round in 2008 when he defeated Zach Johnson, 2 and 1. Toms, who won the Accenture Match Play Championship in 2005, did not qualify for the Accenture Match Play Championship in 2011. He will face Martin Kaymer (DEU) in the Second Round.

Nick Watney (USA) improved his First-Round record at the Accenture Match Play Championship to 3-0 with a 5 and 4 victory over Darren Clarke. Watney improved his overall record to 5-2 with the victory and will face Tiger Woods in the Second Round.

Like Watney, Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy remains perfect in the First Round of the Accenture Match Play Championship, pushing his record to 4-0 with a 2 up victory over George Coetzee. McIlroy is now 6-3 in his career at the Accenture Match Play Championship.

Ben Crane (USA) lost in the First Round of the Accenture Match Play Championship for the first time in five-career appearances, falling to Bubba Watson 3 and 2.
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