Cabrera Bello, Colaserts among those who moved into top 64 this weekend…
MARANA, Ariz. – Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, and Martin Kaymer, Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively, in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) lead the list of those who are qualified for next week’s World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship. While the top 64 in the OWGR released today are qualified for the event, players have until Friday, February 17, at 5 p.m. ET to officially commit to the tournament.
The 2012 bracket and tee times will be unveiled on Monday, February 20, at 7 a.m. ET, with the brackets/seeding based on the OWGR released that morning.
The first World Golf Championships event of the 2012 season returns to The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, February 20-26. The 32 First Round matches begin Wednesday, February 22, with Donald looking to defend his title and retain the Walter Hagen Cup.
While Donald, Westwood, McIlroy and Kaymer have been assured of a return trip to the Accenture Match Play Championship for some time, several players waited until the last minute to punch their tickets to Arizona. Last week’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on the PGA TOUR and the European Tour’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic were the last opportunities for players to move into the top 64 in the OWGR, and Rafael Cabrera Bello and Nicolas Colsaerts did just that, by virtue of their play this past weekend.
Cabrera Bello won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, holding off a strong field with a final-round 68 (-4) to defeat Westwood and Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher by a stroke for his second European Tour victory. The win moved Cabrera Bello from No. 119 to No. 60 in the OWGR and into the field for his first World Golf Championships start.
Colaserts finished T9 at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic to move from No. 69 to just in the Accenture Match Play Championship field at No. 64 in the OWGR. Colaserts qualified for the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational last year, but did not start. He finished T20 at the HSBC Champions. This will be his first start in the Accenture Match Play Championship.
Cabrera Bello and Colaserts knocked Ernie Els (from No. 62 to No. 65) and Robert Allenby (from No. 64 to No. 68) out of the Accenture Match Play Championship field. However, Phil Mickelson (No. 11) has said publicly that he will not compete, meaning No. 65 Els would earn a spot in the field for the 12th time in his World Golf Hall of Fame career. His best finish is a fourth place result in 2001.
As announced last week, new for 2012, the seeding for the Accenture Match Play Championship bracket will be based off the OWGR as of the Monday of championship week, February 20, as opposed to the OWGR at the time the field is finalized. This modification was made to ensure players are seeded based upon their most current ranking position. The eligibility criteria for the field remain unchanged. This change may be best illustrated at the top of the bracket; while Westwood has moved to No. 2 with his T2 at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, fractions ahead of McIlroy, next week the two are projected to again swap positions with McIlroy taking the No. 2 seed and Westwood falling to No. 3.
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.
A list of those qualified and their current ranking is below. Should one of the qualified players elect not to commit, his place in the field will be filled by the next available player from today’s OWGR. A list of those alternates is also included below.
This Week/Last Week Name/Country
1 /(1) Luke Donald /England
2 /(3) Lee Westwood /England
3 /(2) Rory McIlroy /N Ireland
4 /(4) Martin Kaymer /Germany
5 /(5) Steve Stricker /United States
6 /(6) Webb Simpson /United States
7 /(7) Jason Day /Australia
8 /(8) Adam Scott /Australia
9 /(9) Charl Schwartzel /South Africa
10 /(10) Dustin Johnson /United States
11 /(17) Phil Mickelson /United States
12 /(11) Graeme McDowell /N Ireland
13 /(12) Matt Kuchar /United States
14 /(13) Nick Watney /United States
15 /(14) K.J. Choi /Korea
16 /(15) Brandt Snedeker /United States
17 /(16) Sergio Garcia /Spain
18 /(18) Tiger Woods /United States
19 /(19) Bubba Watson /United States
20 /(20) Justin Rose /England
21 /(21) Hunter Mahan /United States
22 /(23) Bill Haas /United States
23 /(24) Paul Casey /England
24 /(22) Ian Poulter /England
25 /(28) Thomas Bjorn /Denmark
26 /(25) Keegan Bradley /United States
27 /(26) Simon Dyson /England
28 /(27) Alvaro Quiros /Spain
29 /(30) David Toms /United States
30 /(29) Louis Oosthuizen /South Africa
31 /(31) Kim Kyung-Tae /Korea
32 /(33) Robert Karlsson /Sweden
33 /(32) Bo Van Pelt /United States
34 /(35) Jason Dufner /United States
35 /(34) Peter Hanson /Sweden
36 /(36) Anders Hansen /Denmark
37 /(37) Rickie Fowler /United States
38 /(39) Fredrik Jacobson /Sweden
39 /(38) Martin Laird /Scotland
40 /(43) Francesco Molinari /Italy
41 /(41) Mark Wilson /United States
42 /(42) John Senden /Australia
43 /(40) Bae Sang-moon /Korea
44 /(51) Aaron Baddeley /Australia
45 /(47) Paul Lawrie /Scotland
46 /(44) Geoff Ogilvy /Australia
47 /(46) Ben Crane /United States
48 /(45) Zach Johnson /United States
49 /(49) Gonzalo Fdez-Castano /Spain
50 /(48) Retief Goosen /South Africa
51 /(50) Miguel A Jimenez /Spain
52 /(52) Kyle Stanley /United States
53 /(53) Ryo Ishikawa /Japan
54 /(55) Darren Clarke /N Ireland
55 /(54) Y.E. Yang /Korea
56 /(57) Gary Woodland /United States
57 /(56) Jonathan Byrd /United States
58 /(58) Robert Rock /England
59 /(59) Jim Furyk /United States
60 /(119) Rafael Cabrera Bello /Spain
61 /(60) Matteo Manassero /Italy
62 /(63) Kevin Na /United States
63 /(61) Greg Chalmers /Australia
64 /(69) Nicolas Colsaerts /Belgium
65 /(62) Ernie Els /South Africa
66 /(77) George Coetzee /South Africa
67 /(65) Ryan Moore /United States
68 /(64) Robert Allenby /Australia
69 /(67) Joost Luiten /Holland
70 /(66) Charles Howell-III /United States
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About the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship
The Accenture Match Play Championship is the first of four World Golf Championships events in 2012 sanctioned and organized by the International Federation of PGA Tours. The other World Golf Championships include the Cadillac Championship (Doral, Fla.), the Bridgestone Invitational (Akron, Ohio) and the HSBC Champions (Shanghai, China). The Accenture Match Play Championship is broadcast to approximately 580 million households in 224 countries and territories in 29 languages. Proceeds from the Accenture Match Play Championship primarily benefit The Tucson Conquistadores youth charities, including The First Tee of Tucson, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA and Pima County Special Olympics. Since the Accenture Match Play Championship moved to Tucson in 2007, more than $7.5 million has been raised for area charities as a result of the tournament, including $1.348 million from the 2011 event.