|World Match Play Championship - February 20, 2007
WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS-
ACCENTURE MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP
The Gallery GC at Dove Mountain (South)
Par: 36-36—72Yards: 7,466
FedExCup Points: 26,250 Winner: 4,725
Purse: $8,000,000 Winner: $1,350,000
2006 Champion: Geoff Ogilvy (3 and 2)
World Golf Championships-Accenture
Match Play Championship Notes
Shell Houston Open champion Stuart Appleby is participating in his 24th career World Golf Championships event at the 2007 World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship. He has competed in every World Golf Championships event since the inception of the series in 1999. Including this week’s tournament, Appleby is the only player to compete in all nine Accenture Match Play Championships. Justin Leonard played the first eight but did not qualify this year.
The most consecutive matches won in Accenture Match Play Championship history is 13 by Tiger Woods (2003-05). Woods’ streak of 13 consecutive victories ended with his 3-and-1 loss to Nick O’Hern in the second round in 2005. David Toms won his first two matches in 2006 to extend his streak to eight consecutive wins before falling to Tom Lehman, 4 and 3, in the third round.
David Toms’ 6-and-5 win in 2005 over Chris DiMarco marked the largest championship match margin of victory in tournament history. Darren Clarke defeated Tiger Woods, 4 and 3, in 2000. Toms’ 6-up lead after the morning session was the largest lead in championship match history.
Having also lost in the championship match to Tiger Woods in 2004, 2006 runner-up Davis Love III became the third player to play in the championship match twice—joining Tiger Woods (2003-04) and David Toms (2003-05). The runner-up finish was the 29th of Love’s career, second among active players to Greg Norman’s 31.
Tiger Woods’ 9-and-8, first-round 2006 victory over Stephen Ames marked the largest match-play victory in the eight-year history of the Accenture Match Play Championship. Previously, seven players had totaled 7-and-6 victories. Woods’ 9-up lead at the nine-hole turn matched David Toms for the largest advantage in tournament history. Toms’ lead came in the 36-hole finale in 2005, a match he eventually won 6 and 5.
A record seven matches went extra holes during the first-round matches in 2006. The previous high for extended first-round matches was six in 2004.
In 2006, Ben Crane carded the second hole-in-one in Accenture Match Play Championship history when he holed a 6-iron from 184 yards on the par-3 16th hole at the La Costa Resort and Spa. Scott McCarron posted the only other ace in tournament history at the 204-yard 14th hole, also at La Costa, en route to a runner-up finish.
With his win a year ago, Geoff Ogilvy became the second Australian to win a World Golf Championships event. Craig Parry won the 2002 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
There are two players in the Accenture Match Play Championship who are playing in their first World Golf Championships event. They are Jeev Milkha Singh and Paul Goydos..
MAYAKOBA GOLF CLASSIC AT
Mayakoba Resort El Camaleon
Solidarida Quintana Roo, Mexico
Par: 35-35—70Yards: 6,923
FedExCup Points: 12,500 Winner: 2,250
Purse: $3,500,000Winner: $630,000
Mayakoba Golf Classic
at Riviera Maya – Cancun Notes
Mexico native Esteban Toledo is also playing in his homeland this week. The former prizefighter played eight full seasons on the PGA TOUR (1994, 1998-2004) earning more than $3.5 million. Toledo is a two-time representative of Mexico at the World Cup, including a tie for eighth in 2006.
Esteban Toledo is no stranger to tournaments in Mexico. During his Nationwide Tour career, Toledo, who was born in Mexicali, played in five Monterrey Opens, in 1993, 1995, 1996-98. His best performance in that event came in 1995, when he tied for ninth.
This week, Fred Funk, the 2005 PLAYERS Championship winner, will be making his fourth PGA TOUR start of the year. Funk turned in an impressive performance in his second Champions Tour appearance of the season, rolling to a record 11-stroke victory at the Turtle Bay Championship last month. Funk led wire to wire and played bogey-free golf over the three days. Besides his one Champions Tour appearance, Funk has also played three PGA TOUR events—the Sony Open in Hawaii, the FBR Open and the Nissan Open. His best finish was a tie for 18th at the FBR Open.
Eight former major championship winners are playing in this week’s tournament. They are Mark Calcavecchia (1989 British Open), Steve Elkington (1995 PGA Championship), Steve Jones (1996 U.S. Open), Bob Tway (1986 PGA Championship), Jeff Sluman (1988 PGA Championship), Mark Brooks (1996 PGA Championship), Larry Mize (1987 Masters) and Lee Janzen (1993 and 1998 U.S. Open).
Pablo Martin is in the field this week. The junior at Oklahoma State and native of Malaga, Spain, earned the Jack Nicklaus and the Fred Haskins Awards in 2005-06 after his sophomore season in Stillwater. The awards are given annually to the nation's top collegiate player. He has been a first-team All-American selection in each of his first two years at Oklahoma State.
The educational division of Audubon International has named Mayakoba Resort's El Camaleon course, site of this week’s Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya – Cancun, as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. El Camaleon was the second course in Mexico and the 622nd in the world to receive the honor.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
- This week’s Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun will be the first official PGA TOUR event held in the country of Mexico. The Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour have previously held official events south of the border.
- This week’s World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship will be held in Tucson for the first time. Prior to the advent of the WGC’s in 1999, the last Match Play Championship held on the PGA TOUR was played in Tucson from 1984-86. Tom Watson won the first and Jim Thorpe won the next two.
- Charles Howell III is off to a brilliant start in 2007 making the cut in all five of his starts with a win and two runner-up finishes. He’s 53-under par this year with 12 rounds in the 60s in 21 tries. He’s also the new leader in the FedExCup standings with 9,652 points.
- This week will feature two different FedExCup point distribution charts. The WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship will be the first event to offer 26,250 points to the field while the Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun will be the first to offer 12,500 points.
- Rookie Jeff Quinney continued his excellent play with his fourth consecutive Top-10 finish, a T9 last week at the Nissan Open. During that stretch he’s broken par in 15 of 17 rounds.
- Ernie Els made his season debut last week and finished in a T3 in Los Angeles. It marked the seventh time in the last 10 seasons that he debuted with a Top-10 finish.
- Loren Roberts will be looking to add a second ACE Group Classic title this week in Naples, FL, and history is on his side. Since the event began in 1988, four players have managed to earn two victories in the tournament — Lee Trevino (1990-91), Mike Hill (1993-94), Gil Morgan (1998-2001) and Hale Irwin (1997-2002). Three of those players—Trevino, Morgan and Irwin — won their titles on different courses. Roberts will need to do the same with the tournament moving this year to Quail West GC.
- Tom Watson had never won in the state of Florida until he captured last week’s Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. Prior to the event, Watson was 0-93 in his career in the state.
- Loren Roberts extended his streak of par-or-better rounds to 26. His streak of under-par rounds ended at 24 after a second-round even-par 71 at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am.
- Mark O’Meara finished in a T38 in his Champions Tour debut last week.
- Aussie Peter O’Malley has a chance to do something this week that’s never been done on the Nationwide Tour — win the same event three times. O’Malley has won the HSBC New Zealand PGA Championship twice (2002 and 2005), joining five other players who have won the same tournament twice on the Nationwide Tour.
- In 121 previous Nationwide Tour events prior to his win last week, Scott Sterling had a career-best T4 finish back in 2003. The victory at the Jacob’s Creek Open Championship was worth $108,000, nearly as much as the $112,357 he won in his best season — 2002.
- With Scott Sterling’s win last week, U.S. players will be looking to sweep the two events Down Under for the first time since 2003 when Joe Ogilvie and Ryan Palmer won in Australia and New Zealand.