Snedeker, Rock improve Official World Golf Ranking position with victories.
MARANA, Ariz. – Only two weeks remain for players to solidify their position inside the top 60 in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) and qualify for the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, the first World Golf Championships event of the 2012 season. The top 64 players in the OWGR as of Monday, February 13 will qualify. The Accenture Match Play Championship returns to The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, February 20-26.
Joost Luiten of The Netherlands is the man currently on the bubble at No. 64 in the OWGR. Notable players on the outside looking in entering this week’s tournaments, the Waste Management Phoenix Open on the PGA TOUR and the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters on the European Tour, include Sean O’Hair (No. 68), Vijay Singh (No. 69), Padraig Harrington (No. 90) and Camilo Villegas (No. 99). O’Hair, Singh and Villegas are all in the field at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Harrington is not competing this week. South Africa’s Ernie Els, who has competed in the Accenture Match Play Championship 11 times, including each of the last six, finds himself at No. 59 in the OWGR.
“It’s really getting down to crunch time for players outside of the top 64 in the Official World Golf Ranking to make their move and play well to qualify for the Accenture Match Play Championship,” said Executive Director Gerald Goodman. “Players on the outside looking in aren’t the only ones looking for good results as those safely inside the top 64 can improve their seeding with high finishes. The next two weeks will be exciting to watch.”
With his dramatic playoff victory over the weekend at the Farmers Insurance Open, Brandt Snedeker claimed his third PGA TOUR title and improved to No. 15 in the OWGR, the highest ranking of his career. Snedeker found himself in a playoff after Kyle Stanley (No. 87) made a triple-bogey 8 on the 72nd hole. He won the sudden-death playoff with a par on the second extra hole. Snedeker’s only previous appearance in the Accenture Match Play Championship came in 2008 when he lost in the first round to Lee Westwood, 3 and 2.
England’s Robert Rock carded a 2-under par 70 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship to finish one-shot ahead of Rory McIlroy and two shots clear of Tiger Woods. The victory improved Rock to No. 55 in the OWGR and on the verge of qualifying for the Accenture Match Play Championship for the first time. Rock has made only one start in a World Golf Championships event, finishing T33 at the 2011 HSBC Champions. McIlroy improved to No. 2 in the OWGR with the runner-up finish, supplanting Englishman Lee Westwood (No. 3), while woods climbed to No. 25. Accenture Match Play Championship defending champion Luke Donald continues to hold the top spot.
New to the Accenture Match Play Championship this year is “Follow the Leaders,” a program that gives fans an opportunity to fall in behind the Championship Match and follow the players down each fairway until the 2012 champion is decided. “Follow the Leaders” will give fans the unique chance to experience the crowd, walk the fairways and view the greens from a player’s perspective. All Sunday ticket holders will be invited to “Follow the Leaders” at the Accenture Match Play Championship, the only official match-play event on the PGA TOUR schedule.
The Accenture Match Play Championship, which is the first in a series of four World Golf Championships events in 2012, has been played in the Tucson area since 2007 and at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain since 2009. Fans interested in purchasing tickets can visit www.worldgolfchampionships.com or call the Tucson Conquistadores office at 520-571-0400.