|Accenture Match Play and Mayakoba Classic - February 18, 2008
WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS-
Accenture Match Play Championship
The Gallery at Dove Mountain
Par: 35-36—71Yards: 7,466
FedExCup Points: 26,250Winner: 4,725
Purse: $8,000,000Winner: $1,440,000
2007 Champion: Henrik Stenson, (2 and 1)
World Golf Championships-
Accenture Match Play Championship
The World Golf Championships were announced in October 1997 to enhance the competitive structure of professional golf worldwide while preserving the tradition and strength of the individual Tours and their events. Sixteen months after that announcement, Jeff Maggert beat Andrew Magee in Carlsbad, CA, to capture the Accenture Match Play Championship, the inaugural World Golf Championships event.
In Tiger Woods’ eight previous appearances at this event (he didn’t play in 2001), he has been the No. 1 seed six times. Woods is also the overall No. 1 seed this week, playing in the Jones Bracket. The only time Woods was not the No. 1 overall seed in an event he entered was in 2005, when he was No. 2.
Defending champion Henrik Stenson enters this week's tournament with a six-match winning streak after he ran the table in 2007 on his way to the title. Overall, Stenson has won seven of his eight Accenture Match Play Championship matches. His lone loss came to Chad Campbell in the second round in 2006. Geoff Ogilvy, who has made it to the finals two years in a row, won 11 consecutive matches before Stenson stopped his streak a year ago in the 36-hole championship match.
Players representing 17 countries are playing this week. That is two off the all-time mark of 19 countries set last year.
Eight of the previous nine World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championships have taken place in the U.S. Australia hosted the 2001 tournament. Including the CA Championship and the Bridgestone Invitational, the World Golf Championships have been played in Spain, Ireland and England, as well as the United States and Australia.
Tiger Woods has won two previous Accenture Match Play Championships, and has six wins each at the CA Championship and the Bridgestone Invitational. The CA Championship will be near Miami, FL, on March 17-23, and the Bridgestone Invitational will be in Akron, OH, from July 28-Aug. 3. Woods is the defending champion at both tournaments.
Stuart Appleby is participating in his 27th career World Golf Championships event this week, having competed in every World Golf Championships event since the inception of the series in 1999. Appleby is also the only player to compete in all 10 Accenture Match Play Championships. Justin Leonard had played the first eight but did not qualify in 2007 because his Official World Golf Ranking dropped to No. 181. He is back this year, moving to No. 51 on the OWGR.
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. Geoff Ogilvy recorded 11 consecutive wins between 2006 and 2007. He won six consecutive matches to take the title two years ago and made it to the final match in 2007 before losing to Henrik Stenson, 2 and 1.
MAYAKOBA GOLF CLASSICAT RIVIERA MAYAEl Camaleon Golf Club at MayakobaSolidaridad Quintana Roo, MexicoPar: 35-35—70Yards: 6,923FedExCup Points: 12,500Winner: 2,250Purse: $3,500,000Winner: $630,0002007 Champion: Fred Funk, (266, -14)
Mayakoba Golf Classic
at Riviera Maya Notes
Fred Funk had at least a piece of the lead after every round in the inaugural Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya a year ago. Funk opened with an 8-under 62 to lead by two after the first round, was tied with Cameron Beckman and Boo Weekley through 36 holes and held a two-stroke lead over Jose Coceres going into the final round before eventually defeating Coceres in a two-hole playoff.
Of the eight sudden-death playoffs on the PGA TOUR in 2007, only the extra session between Fred Funk and Jose Coceres ended on the second hole. Funk made a birdie to win.
Although Fred Funk won the inaugural tournament, he wasn’t one of the five players to shoot four consecutive sub-70 rounds at the par-70 El Camaleon Golf Club at Mayakoba. Jose Coceres, Peter Lonard, Ryan Armour, Steve Marino and Alejandro Canizares all enjoyed four rounds in the 60s in 2007.
Playing as a sponsor’s exemption last year, Alejandro Canizares tied for 13th and earned $63,700. He wasn’t a PGA TOUR member at the time and was unable to earn FedExCup points, but his tie for 13th represented his best career TOUR finish. The former NCAA individual champion from Arizona State has played two events this season after earning his playing privileges through his performance at the 2007 PGA TOUR National Qualifying Tournament. In two starts this season, Canizares has made the cut at both the Sony Open in Hawaii (tied for 40th) and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (tied for 43rd).
Fred Funk and Brent Geiberger established the 18-hole record at the El Camaleon Golf Club at Mayakoba a year ago. Both players shot 62, with Funk’s coming in the first round and Geiberger’s in the second.
Fred Funk has won three of his eight PGA TOUR titles since he turned 45. He captured the Southern Farm Bureau Classic in 2004 and the 2005 PLAYERS Championship at 48 and was 50 when he won last year in Mexico. Funk has also won three Champions Tour titles since turning 50, including this year’s MasterCard Championship at Hualalai.