|WCG - Accenture Match Play - February 23, 2009
WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS-
ACCENTURE MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain
Par: 36-36—72Yards: 7,466
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 550
Purse: $8,500,000Winner: $1,400,000
2008 Champion: Tiger Woods (8 and 7)
Accenture Match Play Championship Moves
to New Site as Woods Defends Title
At the 2008 World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, Tiger Woods edged J.B. Holmes, 1-up, in the first round and had to play two extra holes before eliminating Aaron Baddeley in the third round. Following those close calls, Woods turned up the heat and won three more matches, including an 8-and-7 rout of Stewart Cink to win the Accenture Match Play Championship for a third time. He also won in 2003 and 2004.
The top-64 players in the Official World Golf Ranking are in Arizona this week for the first World Golf Championships event of the season. The CA Championship and the Bridgestone Invitational will round out the schedule. The top seeds in the four brackets are Woods, Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington and Vijay Singh. For complete first-round pairings, click on PGA TOUR Other News.
Woods Returns to Action this Week
Tiger Woods will make his return to competitive golf as he defends his title at this week’s World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship. Woods, ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, is the top overall seed and is the No. 1 seed in the Jones Bracket. He will play Brendan Jones in the first round.
Woods has missed the last eight months as he’s recovered from knee surgery. He last played at the 2008 U.S. Open, where he won. It was one of four TOUR victories a year ago, that included his 8-and-7 victory over Stewart Cink in the final match at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ. Woods has won the Accenture Match Play Championship three times. And has an overall 31-6 record in his 37 matches.
World Golf Championships-
Accenture Match Play Championship Notes
These matches Wednesday have a Presidents Cup feel to them, with American golfers playing these non-Europeans in the first round:
Tiger Woods vs. Brendan Jones (Australia)
Hunter Mahan vs. Mike Weir (Canada)
Kevin Sutherland vs. Geoff Ogilvy (Australia)
Phil Mickelson vs. Angel Cabrera (Argentina)
Stewart Cink vs. Richard Sterne (South Africa)
Sean O’Hair vs. Adam Scott (Australia)
Kenny Perry vs. Mathew Goggin (Australia)
Justin Leonard vs. Andres Romero (Argentina)
Anthony Kim vs. Lin Wen-Tang (Taiwan)
Tiger Woods has the most match wins (31) in Accenture Match Play Championship history. Woods is 20-4 against the International players and 11-2 against Americans. Woods’ two losses against players from the U.S. came in the quarterfinals in 1999, when he lost to Jeff Maggert and in 2006 when Chad Campbell ousted Woods in the third round. Woods has four losses against International players, losing to Peter O’Malley in the first round in 2002 and twice to Nick O’Hern (2005 and 2007). Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke defeated Woods in the 2003 championship match. None of the five players are in this week’s field.
Each year, the World Golf Championships brings together the best players from across the globe to play against each other. There are 19 countries represented in the field this year including the first-ever appearance of a player from Taiwan (Lin Wen-Tang). Nineteen countries represented ties the record for the most countries in the Accenture Match Play Championship, matching the 2006 event.
At the start of the 2009 season, seven players were outside the top 64 in the Official World Golf Ranking but made big moves the first six weeks of the season to qualify for this week's tournament. Dustin Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen made the biggest jumps this year to reach the top 64 in the Official World Golf Ranking and qualify for the Accenture Match Play Championship. Johnson was No. 143 at the start of the 2009 season. His win at the rain-shortened AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am helped him move to No. 45. Oosthuizen was No. 134 at the start of 2009, but thanks to five consecutive top-10 finishes on the European Tour (including two runner-up performances, at The Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, he is now No. 49.
Four players have more than one appearance in championship matches, led by Tiger Woods who has made it to the finals four times. He has three victories. Three other players have been in the finals twice: Davis Love III (2004, 2006), David Toms (2003, 2005) and Geoff Ogilvy (2006-07). Ogilvy and Toms are 1-1 in championship matches, while Love is 0-2.
MAYAKOBA GOLF CLASSIC
AT RIVIERA MAYA - CANCUN
El Camaleon Golf Club at Mayakoba Resort
Solidaridad Quintana Roo, Mexico
Par: 35-35—70Yards: 6,923
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 250
Purse: $3,600,000Winner: $648,000
2008 Champion: Brian Gay (264, -16)
Gay Defends at Mayakoba Golf Classic
Brian Gay, who won his first PGA TOUR title at the 2008 Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya, defends his title this week. Gay, who had a career year last season, picked up where he left off a year ago. Already this season, Gay has two top-10 finishes—a tie for fifth at the Sony Open in Hawaii and a tie for sixth at the FBR Open. Gay is currently 19th in the FedExCup.
Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya Notes
Last year, Brian Gay’s victory was his first on the PGA TOUR after 293 starts as a professional. Jay Delsing (555 starts) has the most starts among active PGA TOUR players without a victory.
In two starts at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, Steve Marino has two top-10s (eighth in 2007 and second in 2008) and has eight rounds in the 60s, with a stroke average of 67.25.
Brian Gay led the field with 23 birdies a year ago, en route to victory. His third-round 62 was his career low on the PGA TOUR, giving him a five-stroke lead heading into the final round. Gay went on to win by two strokes.
Brian Gay was one of four players who posted four rounds in the 60s a year ago. The others were Steve Marino (finished second), Matt Kuchar and John Merrick (tied for third). In 2007, five players have four sub-70 rounds—Jose Coceres, Peter Lonard, Ryan Armour, Alejandro Canizares and Parker McLachlin.
El Camaleon Golf Club, designed by 2009 Presidents Cup International Captain Greg Norman, was ranked No. 14 among most-difficult courses on the PGA TOUR in 2008. The par-70 course had a scoring average of 71.00. The par-4 third hole (462 yards) was ranked 22nd on the Toughest Holes on the PGA TOUR list (4.385).
Mexico native Esteban Toledo (11th) just missed recording his first top-10 since a tie for ninth at the 2003 Bank of America Colonial.
Roland Thatcher set the El Camaleon Golf Club at Mayakoba course record last year with a 9-under-par 61 in the third round en route to a tie for ninth.
Fred Funk, the 2007 Mayakoba Golf Classic champion, rebounded from a first-round 73 to make the cut and tie for 63rd. In 2007, Funk became the fifth-oldest winner in PGA TOUR history when he won the Mayakoba Golf Classic at the age of 50 years, 8 months, 11 days. Here is the complete list of oldest winners:
52 years, 10 months, 8 days, Sam Snead, 1965 Greater
51 years, 7 months, 10 days, Art Wall, 1975 Greater Milwaukee
51 years, 3 months, 7 days, Jim Barnes, 1937 Long Island Open
51 years, 1 month, 5 days, John Barnum, 1962 Cajun Classic
50 years, 8 months, 11 days, former SHO winner Fred Funk, 2007 Mayakoba Golf Classic
50 years, 1 month, 18 days, Craig Stadler, 2003 B.C. Open
49 years, 6 months, 4 days, Raymond Floyd, 1992 Doral-Ryder Open
49 years, 4 months, 23 days, Peter Jacobsen, 2003 Greater